LAKELAND, Fla. - Florida Southern College men's ice hockey has been granted membership into the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the national governing body of non-NCAA ice hockey. The ACHA currently consists of more than 450 teams in five divisions, including three men's and two women's divisions, and has a total of 12 teams in the state of Florida.
"This is a huge step forward for our new men's ice hockey program even before a puck has dropped and they've taken the ice for the first time," said Drew Howard, Director of Athletics & Dean of Wellness. "Obtaining membership in the ACHA is crucial to the future success of the program, and will provide our coaches and student-athletes with the opportunity to compete against some of the top-level teams in the country, including many in our own backyard."
Florida Southern, which announced the launch of its ice hockey program in March, will play in the ACHA Division III classification in the South Division. The Moccasins are joined by Embry-Riddle, Eastern Florida State College, University of Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Tech, Florida State, Lynn, UCF, Miami, and USF as the ACHA's member institutions in the state of Florida, and Florida Gulf Coast also fields a team at the Division II level.
The ACHA's Division III South Division also includes teams from the states of Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and American University in Washington, D.C.
Florida Southern is expected to begin competition this fall and will play its home contests at the Lakeland Ice Arena, which is slated to open later this summer on West Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland at the site of the former Interstate Lanes bowling facility. A complete schedule, roster, and coaching staff will be announced later this summer at FSCMocs.com.