LAKELAND, FL – Florida Southern College has announced the addition of men's ice hockey to its offering of athletic programs, with the team tentatively set to begin play with the start of the 2019-20 academic year.
"We are excited to add men's ice hockey to our offering of athletic programs here at Florida Southern," said Drew Howard, Interim Director of Athletics. "This area of the state has a great hockey following with the Tampa Bay Lightning just a short distance away, and this summer's opening of the Lakeland Ice Arena made it the time right for us to add a hockey program."
The team will play its home games at the all-new Lakeland Ice Arena, which is slated to open this summer.
"We at Lakeland Ice Arena are very excited about the partnership with Florida Southern College to bring Ice Hockey at a collegiate level to Polk County," said Paul Granville, owner of Lakeland Ice Arena. "It was very important to us at the Arena to partner with an institution that not only has first-class athletic programs but also an academic record to match."
Moving forward, plans are for the team to join the American Collegiate Hockey Association following an application process that includes a transition period similar to those experience in NCAA athletics. The ACHA currently consists of three men's division's (I, II, and III) and two women's divisions (I and II) and Moccasins will compete at the Division III level.
Once the application process is completed, Florida Southern would become the 12th school in the state of Florida with a team in the ACHA, joining Eastern Florida State College, Embry-Riddle, Florida Atlantic, FGCU, Florida State, Florida Tech, Lynn, Miami, Tampa, UCF, and USF, all of whom are at the DIII level.
The addition of men's hockey will increase the number of athletic programs at Florida Southern to 24, which includes 20 NCAA Division II sports and four club teams.
More information about the team, including the head coach, roster, and inaugural schedule, will be released at a later date on FSCMocs.com.
Inquiries about the new hockey program can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org