Northland College announced today that it will add women’s hockey to its NCAA Division III hockey program, effective for the 2016-2017 season.
The College has already begun a search for a coach.
“The driving force behind the decision is the continued growth of hockey and Northland’s location, central in a region renowned for highly competitive play,” said Head Men’s Hockey Coach Seamus Gregory. “We know that there are young women who want to play — and we’d like to make it available.”
In Northland College region alone, 25-30 girls under the age of eight play hockey for Ashland Youth Hockey, said Gregory, who along with his players, volunteers with the youth hockey program.
“Having both men’s and women’s NCAA Division III ice hockey programs will allow the college to offer an even more comprehensive and equitable intercollegiate athletic program,” said Northland College President Michael A. Miller. “They also increase our ability to serve the needs of excellent student-athletes who want to play here.”
Northland College is currently working with the Bay Area Civic Center and the City of Ashland on plans to add a women’s locker room at the Civic Center, where ice hockey is practiced and played.
“Growing any sport is exciting and this is one of the larger growing sports—along with lacrosse—and it’s exploding in the Midwest and in the NCAA,” Gregory said.