Arizona State University will be elevating its men’s ice hockey program to NCAA Division I status, the school announced Tuesday.
The Sun Devil hockey team will become ASU’s 23rd NCAA sport and the first Pac-12 hockey team. The transition will take place over the next three seasons.
“Head coach Greg Powers has built a powerhouse ice hockey program here in Tempe, and because of his work it was probably a matter not of ‘if’ but ‘when’ Sun Devil Hockey would be ready to compete at the highest level,” said Ray Anderson, the vice president of university athletics. “I am grateful for the generosity shown by our hockey supporters to make this move possible, and I am hopeful that more members of the extended Sun Devils Athletics family will help us grow this program for the future.”
The hockey supporters donated $32 million, including a contribution from Don Mullet, the father of former ASU hockey player Chris Mullet. Both spoke at the press conference Tuesday to announce the new program.
Sun Devil hockey finished last season with a record of 38-2-0, the best in program history. They won the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Championship, and coach Greg Powers was named the ACHA National Coach of the Year.
The donation to Sun Devil athletics will also result in the addition of a women's varsity program for the 2016 academic year. The sport is yet to be determined, although according to Anderson, lacrosse or rowing are being considered.
- Danielle Zhu