Robert Morris Director of Athletics Dr. Chris King speaks out on recent news regarding both the men’s and women’s hockey programs


Athletic Director Chris King spoke to Colonial Sports Network about the recent hockey news. Photo Credit: RMU Athletics

By Ethan Morrison, Assistant Sports Editor

This morning, Robert Morris University announced that both men’s and women’s hockey programs would be reinstated for the 2021-22 season if the programs receive enough donations by July 31.

This afternoon, I spoke to Robert Morris Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Chris King on the University’s decision to possibly reinstate the programs with the help of the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation.

Dr. King spoke on the amount of support that both teams have received over the past six weeks.

“We witnessed the passion of the hockey players and other supporters of RMU hockey and we have seen their commitment and they demonstrated that there might be a viable path forward for Ice Hockey at RMU.”

King also expressed how the athletic department has dealt with all of the news over the past six weeks.

“Everybody within the athletic department’s top priority has been the student-athletes and players have been our top priority and if there is a clear path of long-range sustainability we definitely want to see if there is momentum to reinstate the programs.”

One of the main questions that a lot of supporters of the programs have had over the past several hours was why the option to raise funds wasn’t available when the original news of the hockey programs getting discontinued was released.

“I think that you have to give credit to the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation group and they grouped to raise sufficient funds to support the reinstatement of the programs. It was a university decision that was made so now that we had a chance to sit down across the table from them they expressed that they had a clear path to long-range sustainability for both programs with some potential gifts. We thought that it was a good time to partner up with them and see if we can take it over the top and be able to reinstate the programs.”

I also asked Dr. King if there was a magic number that needed to be hit by July 31st in order to reinstate both programs.

“I don’t think that there needs to be a magic number to be hit, we will assess at the end of July if there is a clear path to long-range sustainability and we need to gauge how much momentum that we have as well because we don’t want to be in this same position next year where we are once again faced with having to discontinue the programs. I don’t think it’s a question of hitting a certain amount but the amount of momentum we have for long-range sustainability.”

I reached out to the Pittsburgh College Hockey foundation to see how much money has been raised so far for the programs but have yet to hear back.

With so many players finding new homes such as Raygan Kirk, Lexi Templeman, and Emily Curlett, many wonder if it is too late in the offseason to field a team for the upcoming season. King said that there are some logistical challenges but there some different ways that the teams can be fielded for this upcoming season. “We can’t start any later than the end of July because we have to rehire coaches, find players via the transfer portal where there are quite a few players still available and that will be on the coaches to field the rest of the rosters.”

With the end of July inching closer and closer, it will be interesting to see how all of logistics will play itself out and will have to wait and see how many former Robert Morris Hockey players from both programs will return for the upcoming season.

Stay tuned to Colonial Sports Network for updates regarding the latest on this situation.