Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University (RMU), located just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is not typically known as a hockey powerhouse compared to schools like Boston University or the University of North Dakota. However, over the past decade, the RMU Colonials have made a name for themselves in the college hockey world, consistently producing top talent and becoming a formidable force in the NCAA Division I hockey scene.
So how does a relatively small and lesser-known school attract top high school talent from across North America? Let’s take a closer look at the recruitment process and strategies that have made RMU a recruiting powerhouse.
Building a Winning Culture
One of the key factors in RMU’s success in attracting top talent is its winning culture. Under the leadership of head coach Derek Schooley, the Colonials have made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament, won eight conference titles, and produced numerous NHL draft picks.
Schooley’s emphasis on creating a winning culture is evident in his recruiting strategies. He looks for players who have a competitive drive and a desire to win. This mindset is instilled in every player from the moment they step foot on campus, creating a strong team mentality that translates into success on the ice.
In addition, RMU’s coaching staff is experienced and dedicated, with multiple former NHL players on their staff. This not only adds a level of credibility and expertise to the program, but it also helps attract top talent who want to learn from and be coached by former professional players.
Opportunities for Development and Exposure
RMU’s location also plays a significant role in their recruitment efforts. Being just a short drive from Pittsburgh, known as the City of Champions, provides players with the opportunity to train and develop at a high level. The Pittsburgh area is home to several NHL teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, giving players easy access to pro-level facilities and training programs.
In addition, the team competes in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, which includes top programs like Army, Air Force, and Canisius. This not only provides players with the chance to compete against strong opponents but also increases exposure to scouts from the NHL and minor league teams.
RMU also participates in several non-conference games against powerhouse teams like Boston University and Notre Dame. These games not only help the team gain valuable experience playing against top competition but also provide exposure to a wider audience and potential future opportunities for players.
Personalized Recruitment Approach
One of the hallmarks of RMU’s recruitment process is its personalized approach. Schooley and his staff make it a priority to build relationships with potential recruits, not just as athletes but as individuals. This personalized touch makes players feel valued and wanted, creating a strong bond that often translates into a commitment to the school.
In addition, the recruiting process is tailored to each individual player’s needs and goals. The coaching staff takes the time to understand each player’s academic aspirations, hockey goals, and personal interests to ensure they will be a good fit for both the team and the university.
This approach has proven successful, with many highly sought-after recruits choosing RMU over larger, more well-known programs due to the personal attention and care they receive from the coaching staff.
Investing in Top-Notch Facilities
In recent years, Robert Morris University has made significant investments in their athletic facilities, including the construction of the UPMC Events Center, a state-of-the-art arena that is home to the Colonials hockey team. This modern facility not only provides an impressive home-ice advantage for the team but also serves as a recruiting tool for potential players.
The university also boasts top-notch training and medical facilities, as well as dedicated academic support for student-athletes. These investments show a commitment to providing players with everything they need to succeed, both on and off the ice, and attract top talent looking for a well-rounded college experience.
Continued Success and Bright Future
The recruiting powerhouse that is Robert Morris University shows no signs of slowing down. With a winning culture, personalized approach, top-notch facilities, and a commitment to providing players with opportunities for development and exposure, the Colonials continue to attract top high school talent year after year.
And as the program continues to thrive and produce professional players, it will only strengthen their recruitment efforts, making RMU a top destination for aspiring hockey players looking for a winning and supportive environment to hone their skills and reach their full potential.