ATLANTA (Feb. 10, 2021) – Lindenwood University, located in Saint Charles, Mo., recently announced it will move their men’s hockey program to NCAA Division I in 2022-23. In May 2018, Collegiate Consulting, as part of a partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and College Hockey Inc., completed a comprehensive hockey feasibility study for Lindenwood.
The study recommended a three-to-four year ramp up with a focus on conference membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). The projected annual budget for the program ranged between $1.4 – $1.6 million, which included 18 scholarships and three-person coaching staff. The men’s program would play at the 2,500-seat Centene Community Ice Center, which opened in Sept. 2019. The men’s program would join the women’s team at the Division I level.
The Division II ACHA team has experienced distinctive success in recent history; the team appeared in six title games, winning three, in the last 12 years. Lindenwood could also benefit from being one of the few Division I Hockey programs in the Midwest, as Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Iowa do not have an institution that sponsors NCAA Division I hockey.
Currently, there are 35 institutions in the country that have Division I women’s hockey, and 60 institutions with a Division I men’s hockey program. In total, these teams are divided into 10 conferences.
Collegiate Consulting completed Lindenwood’s Hockey Feasibility Study (with support from the St. Louis Blues) along with studies for Oakland University (Detroit Red Wings), University of Illinois (Chicago Black Hawks) and two other institutions. In addition, Collegiate Consulting has completed 20 hockey projects, including Simon Fraser, Bemidji State, Utica, Alabama – Huntsville and Stonehill.