Robert Morris University will no longer sponsor men’s or women’s Division I ice hockey teams, the school announced in a press release on Wednesday, in a shocking decision to cut two of the school’s most successful programs.
“We are saddened for the student-athletes who will be unable to continue in their sport at Robert Morris University and are committed to assisting them during this difficult time,” RMU president Chris Howard said. “However, this is the best course of action to leverage our strategic assets and position us for future growth.”
According to the Robert Morris press release, the school saw a desire to reduce the total number of athletic teams to 15 in order to more closely align itself with similarly sized institutions.
The hockey teams were slated to be cut because of the cost of maintaining the programs and improvements that were necessary to keep RMU Island Sports Center, the teams’ off-campus home on Neville Island, up to date.
The teams had been in existence since 2004. The RMU men’s team has been coached by Derek Schooley since its inception and won CHA regular-season championships in 2015 and 2016, and earned a CHA tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014.
The school also hosted the men’s Frozen Four twice, in 2013 and 2021.
The women’s team made two NCAA Tournament appearances, in 2017 and 2021 and won the CHA Tournament and CHA regular season three times. Head coach Paul Colontino had been with the team since 2011.
Former RMU goaltender Brianne McLaughlin was a two-time member of the US women’s Olympic ice hockey team, winning silver medals in 2010 and 2014.