October 23, 2016

Young, Newmark hired at Wilkes

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

Wilkes Barre, Pa.-
In late August, Wilkes University had programs, and a facility for them to play in. Now, the Colonels have their coaches. Wilkes University has announced the hiring of Michael Young and Stephanie Newmark as its inaugural men's and women's ice hockey coaches, respectively. 

Young signs on to run the Wilkes men's program after a six year run as an assistant at Westfield State, the last three of which have been spent as associate head coach. Under his guidance, the Owls reached the MASCAC semifinals five times in a six year period. In addition, Young also occupied a role as a facilities manager, strength and conditioning coach, and academic advisor. Now, Young is hoping to translate his MASCAC successes to the UCHC, with a program to call his very own.

"I was lucky enough to be given a lot of responsibility very quickly in my coaching career during my first year behind the bench in 2010; the staff at Westfield State trusted me more than I think typical first year coaches would have been," Young said in the school's release. "Right from the start I was leaned upon heavily in all aspects of the team's operation and only three years into my coaching career, I was promoted to Associate Head Coach. Three years after that, I am now lucky enough to be moving on to the head coach position at Wilkes, but it would not be so if it were not for the experience I gained at Westfield. To be a good coach, one must always be learning, and because Westfield trusted and believed in me right from the beginning, I was able to—and continue to—learn, develop, and evolve as a coach. I cannot be more thrilled that evolution has brought me to Wilkes University."

Young previously played two years at Westfield, and spent his freshman campaign playing for Peter Belisle at UMass Boston. The Canada native began his duties on Wednesday. 

Wilkes has also announced the hiring of former Plymouth State defender Stephanie Newmark as its inaugural head women's coach. Newmark comes aboard after a pair of seasons as an assistant at Daniel Webster College. Newmark served at both club and varsity levels at Daniel Webster, helping to establish a women's program that played in the 2015-16 season. Newmark ran the team's defense this past season. In her season with the school's combined club program, she also assisted with the program at Austin Pepraratory School. 

"It is very exciting being the first head coach at Wilkes University and an amazing opportunity to bring in my knowledge to create a successful program," Newmark said in the school's release. "I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting opportunity as women's ice hockey has been one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and Canada over the last decade, and the decision to establish this program will most definitely have a positive effect on the university.  In accepting the job, I was most impressed by the academic strengths of Wilkes, as well as its commitment to the new hockey program. Starting a program from scratch takes a lot of hard work, but I believe that all the elements are in place for this to become a highly successful NCAA program."

 Prior to coaching, Newmark has enjoyed a stellar playing career at home and abroad. She appeared in 92 games in four years with Plymouth State, and also holds multiple IIHF world championship awards with the Australian women's national team. 

Newmark began her duties back on Friday, October 14th. Both programs will begin play in Fall 2017, and will play at the Coal Street ice rink. 




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October 13, 2016

Five schools to play for MAC title next year

Courtesy of the Middle Atlantic Conferences

 The Middle Atlantic Conferences Executive Director Ken Andrews has announced that the conference will sponsor three new varsity sports beginning the 2017-18 season, including men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men’s volleyball.

Conference bylaws require that at least five of the conference’s member institutions offer a particular sport before it may become a conference-sponsored sport.

“The MAC is committed to being a national leader in expanding student opportunities for sport participation,” said Dr. Kent C. Trachte, Chair of MAC Executive Committee and President of Lycoming College. “The addition of these three sports reflects that commitment.”

The addition of these sports will increase the conference’s sponsorship to 27 varsity sports competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. The NCAA Division III currently sponsors 28 sports, leaving just women’s rowing off of the Middle Atlantic Conferences’ list of sponsored sports. No other conference sponsors as many Division III sports.

The conference will also increase its total team championships to 40 beginning in 2017-18.

“The MAC prides itself on offering competitive opportunities to a wide range of student-athletes. The addition of these three sports reinforces that principle as we now offer more NCAA Division III programs than any of the other 41 conferences,” said Ken Andrews, Executive Director of the MAC. “With the presidential approval of men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s ice hockey as conference sports, I anticipate many of our other institutions will soon include these programs in their sport offerings.”

The Middle Atlantic Conferences is comprised of three conferences known as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth (MAC Commonwealth) and Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom). Men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men’s volleyball will compete in the MAC for a conference title.

All three sports will play a conference schedule with the best record in conference action earning the MAC title. There will also be an awards program containing players of the week, all-conference honors and academic awards for all three sports. The ice hockey teams will also compete in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) for a chance at an NCAA Division III Championship automatic qualifier (AQ). The men’s volleyball teams will do the same in their respective outside conferences.

All three sports will have five institutions sponsoring the sport by the 2017-18 athletic season.

The five institutions set to sponsor men’s and women’s ice hockey for the 2017-18 inaugural season of MAC ice hockey are King’s College, Lebanon Valley College, Manhattanville College, Stevenson University and Wilkes University.

Manhattanville has sponsored men’s and women’s ice hockey since the 1999-2000 season, with the men competing in NCAA Division III since 1999 and the women joining during the NCAA Division III’s inaugural season of women’s ice hockey in 2001-02.

The Lebanon Valley men’s program also began in 1999-2000 competing in NCAA Division III until the 2009-10 season. The Dutchmen will move back into NCAA Division III during the 2016-17 season after competing as a club team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I from 2010-11 to 2015-16. Lebanon Valley’s women’s program opens its inaugural season in 2016-17.

Stevenson’s women’s program began competing in 2012-13 in NCAA Division III. The Mustangs’ men’s program begins its inaugural season in 2016-17.

King’s and Wilkes both officially announced the addition of men’s of women’s ice hockey during the 2016 calendar year, and will both play its first season in 2017-18.

The first NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey champion was crowned in 1984, while the first NCAA Division III women’s ice hockey champion was crowned in 2002. The Manhattanville women are a three-time national runner-up in 2002, 2003 and 2008. The Manhattanville men were national semifinalists in 2007.



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October 4, 2016

United Collegiate Hockey Conference to debut next season

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

The schools that comprise the current ECAC Men's West, and a contingent of expansion programs will have a new conference home for men and women's hockey next fall as a group of eleven Division III institutions have created the United Collegiate Hockey Conference, a new men's and women's hockey league that will begin play in Fall 2017, Nazareth College president Daan Braveman announced on Tuesday.

“We are pleased to announce the formation of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference,” Braveman said. “We have a tremendous grouping of academic and athletic institutions, and this will be will an exciting time for our student-athletes and member institutions.”

Upon its launch next season, the league will feature ten full members for men, and nine for women. Elmira, Utica, Hobart and William Smith, King's, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Chatham, Neumann, and Stevenson will place both men's and women's entries into the league's inaugural season, while Nazareth will field a men's team exclusively.

Each league will gain an additional full member in year two when the newly created men's and women's programs at Wilkes University will play an abbreviated UCHC schedule in their inaugural 2017-18 season before assuming full-fledged conference membership with a complete league schedule in 2018-19.

Braveman will be the inaugural President of the UCHC. Elmira College Vice President for Athletics Patricia Thompson will assist as the conference's Vice President and will also head up the Athletic Directors' committee for the new conference. 

“Establishing a new conference was a collaborative effort on the part of all of our members," Thompson said. "Under the leadership of our Commissioner, Chuck Mitrano, we were able to move our aspirations to reality. The opportunity to incorporate our men’s and women’s programs in the same hockey conference, the infusion of new programs along with our shared commitment to provide a quality student-athlete experience were the underpinnings for creating our new and exciting UCHC alliance.“

For Mitrano, serving as the Commissioner of a Division III conference is nothing new. He holds over 20 years of service in collegiate athletics administration. Mitrano has served as Commissioner of the Empire 8 Conference for the last 15 years and is also the current president of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He is also a past President of the Division III Commissioners' Association. Even with his vast leadership experience, the Rochester-area resident looks forward to a new challenge.

“I’m honored to serve as the inaugural commissioner of the UCHC,” says Mitrano. “We have an exceptional group of institutions that will make UCHC a highly respected structure in the landscape of ice hockey. We are excited to enhance the experience for our student-athletes while representing the very best values of ice hockey.”

Fans looking for the latest on the new conference's development can follow the league on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the handle @UCHCHockey.



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