The Newest D1 College Team
A great day for the Mount Rushmore State
What’s Going On
After the heartbreaking news that Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh will be shutting down both its Men’s and Women’s hockey programs, we now know a new program will be forming. Augustana University in South Dakota will be the next school to make the push for Division 1. The Vikings will be one of just over 60 D1 Men’s hockey programs in the country.
How This Happened
Augustana University is a small private university with just over 1700 students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Augustana currently competes at the NCAA D2 level for most sports but does not currently host a hockey team at any level. The Sioux Falls school has set a plan to raise its national recognition and grow as a school by making a push for NCAA D1 status. This was all made possible due to the lead gift by T Denny Stanford, the richest man in South Dakota, just as Pegula did for Penn State University.
What We Know
As of now, details are still scant but what we do know is that the university plans to start with just a men’s hockey program and this would be their only NCAA D1 sport for the time being. This plan also includes the building of an on-campus ice arena. With a start date of 2023, things will have to come together quickly at Augustana. There are a lot of good hockey players in both the US and Canada that would love to take a shot at building a program. Look at ASU for example.
Additionally, there are two highly successful USHL junior teams nearby: the Sioux Falls Stampede and the Sioux City Musketeers. Getting top talent has to be the top priority if Augustana hopes to be the next Penn State or even the next Long Island University.
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