Robert Morris University
Over the past few years, Robert Morris University’s hockey program has risen to new heights, dominating the ice and cementing their status as a powerhouse in college hockey. With back-to-back conference championships and multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament, the team has become a household name among hockey fans. But what has led to this recent success? In this article, we will analyze the factors that have contributed to Robert Morris’s dynasty in the making.
History of Robert Morris University Hockey
Robert Morris University’s hockey program was established in 2004, with its first season being played in 2005. The team started off as a Division II club team and quickly worked their way up to Division I status in 2007. In 2010, they joined the Atlantic Hockey Conference, competing against universities such as Air Force, Army, and Canisius.
In the early years, the team faced many challenges, struggling to find their footing in the competitive world of college hockey. However, the university remained committed to developing their program, investing in top-notch facilities and recruiting talented players.
Turning Point: The Arrival of Coach Derek Schooley
In the summer of 2003, Robert Morris hired Derek Schooley as their head coach. Schooley brought with him a wealth of experience, having previously coached the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. With his leadership, the team experienced a significant turnaround, making it to the Atlantic Hockey playoffs in his first season.
Under Schooley’s guidance, the team continued to improve, reaching the Atlantic Hockey finals in the 2008-2009 season and finishing second in the conference. This marked a turning point for the Robert Morris hockey program, as they established themselves as a serious contender on the national stage.
Investment in Facilities and Resources
In addition to bringing in top talent, Robert Morris University has also invested in their facilities and resources, providing the team with the best possible training environment. The team plays their home games at the $21 million Colonials Arena, which was built in 2003. The 84,000 square foot facility boasts state-of-the-art amenities, including a 200-meter indoor track, an athletic training room, and a fitness center.
The university also invested in a $3 million state-of-the-art hockey training center, which opened in 2012. This facility features a synthetic ice rink, two shooting lanes, and a weight room, allowing the players to train year-round and hone their skills.
Recruiting Top Talent
One of the key factors in Robert Morris’s success has been their ability to recruit top talent. Under Schooley’s leadership, the team has consistently brought in talented players who have made significant contributions on the ice. One notable example is the recruitment of forward and captain Brady Ferguson, who scored 58 points in his senior season and was named the most valuable player in the Atlantic Hockey conference.
In addition to bringing in top talent from all over North America, the team has also had success in recruiting internationally. In recent years, they have added players from Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic to their roster, further diversifying their skill set.
Team Culture and Chemistry
Aside from individual talent, another crucial element of Robert Morris’s success is the tight-knit team culture and chemistry. The team emphasizes a strong work ethic and selfless play, with players consistently putting the team’s success above their individual achievements. This mentality has led to a high level of cohesion and camaraderie among the players, resulting in a formidable team that is difficult to beat.
Robert Morris University’s hockey program has come a long way since its inception, establishing itself as a dominant force in college hockey. With the right combination of talented players, top-notch facilities, and an unwavering team culture, the team has resonated with fans and captured the attention of the hockey world. As they continue to build upon their success, it is clear that Robert Morris is on its way to becoming a dynasty in the world of college hockey.