Nov 08, 2018
Courtesy of the ACHA
TROY, Mich. – The American Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that the governing body for non-varsity college hockey in the United States has accepted the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) into Men's Division I beginning with the 2019-20 season.
The WHAC will begin play next season with the following seven member schools:
1. Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
2. Cleary University (Howell, Mich.)
3. Concordia University Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
4. Indiana Tech (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
5. Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, Mich.)
6. Rochester College (Rochester Hills, Mich.)
7. University of Michigan-Dearborn (Dearborn, Mich.)
The University of Michigan-Dearborn, which has been playing Division I since the ACHA's 1991-1992 inaugural season and has 19 National Tournament Appearances, and Rochester College, a Division I member since the 2013-2014 season, will spearhead the WHAC's move to place all of its teams at the Division I level. Aquinas College, Men's Division III National Champions during the 2016-2017 season, will make the jump up from Division II, while the schools of Indiana Tech and Lawrence Tech have been approved to rejoin the ACHA next season. Rounding out the league will be first-year team Concordia Ann Arbor and 2019 start-up team Cleary University.
The affiliation allows for postseason competition beyond the league's tournament, and the WHAC will receive an auto-bid beginning with the 2020-2021 season.
The WHAC, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), added men's hockey as a conference sport in 2017 even though the NAIA does not sponsor it as a championship sport. Aligning with the ACHA is the perfect fit for the seven member schools.
"The WHAC prides itself on offering a quality experience for our student-athletes and the ACHA is the perfect partner to enhance that experience," said WHAC commissioner Rob Miller. "We are confident that being aligned with the ACHA will allow the league to grow in the sport of men's hockey."
WHAC sport chair and Indiana Tech head coach Frank DiCristofaro commented, "The WHAC coaches appreciate the opportunity to play at a high level under the ACHA banner and look forward to a competitive national tournament structure and proper governance."
In the first year of league play, no regular-season champion was crowned. UM-Dearborn won the inaugural WHAC Conference Tournament with a 3-1 victory over Aquinas.
About the WHAC
The WHAC is a partnership of student-focused institutions with a strong tradition and shared commitment towards academic achievement, service to our community and developing life skills through character-driven athletics. More information about the WHAC can be found at https://whac.net.