Robert Morris announces reinstatement of hockey programs for 2023-24

Mens+hockey+celebrates+Jordan+Timmons+goal+against+Niagara+in+the+2020+Atlantic+Hockey+playoffs.+Photo+credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

Men’s hockey celebrates Jordan Timmons goal against Niagara in the 2020 Atlantic Hockey playoffs. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

By Nathan Breisinger, Editor in Chief

On Thursday morning, it was announced that the Robert Morris men’s and women’s ice hockey programs will be reinstated for the 2023-24 season as first reported by Tim Benz and confirmed by RMU Athletics.

The decision was made to bring back both programs following an ongoing effort to save the teams from an RMU standpoint with the “Hockey Is The Goal” campaign and through alumni, former players, students and the public.

During the press conference, RMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King stated that they are projecting to reach over $2.8 million through their fundraising endeavors. The financial outlook comes through existing cash donations, pledge donations and future revenue opportunities.

“We have over 500 season ticket commitments,” King said. “We had over 1,000 attendees from the hockey community attend and supported the first-ever RMU Hockey Celebrity Face-Off fundraiser, we have over 500 event and auction registrants, and those of you that donated on the givecampus campaign site know that we had over 550 donors.”

While many individuals were involved with the fundraising surrounding the reinstatement of the teams, none were more vocal than Derek Schooley, Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle and Ryan Malone.

“I am proud that Robert Morris is back,” Schooley said. “We are on a road to gaining a national promise that we started in college hockey.”

Schooley will presume the role of coach and director of men’s and women’s hockey operations.

“I am excited to get back to doing everything we were doing,” Schooley said. “I’ve joked that I’ve become an event planner, a fundraiser, a postman, a podcaster and a hockey coach last and now it’s time to get back to being a hockey coach.”

The Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation led by McLaughlin-Bittle has been paving the path to reinstatement with different fundraising events, which will continue with tonight’s RMU Hockey celebration at the All-Star Sports Bar and Grill in Robinson.