Aurora, Illinois, March 14, 2016 (athletics.aurora.edu) – Aurora University, an NCAA Division III institution, has announced the creation of a second men’s ice hockey club team. The new club will be a D2 ACHA men’s team for the 2016-2017 season, while the current team will remain ACHA D3.
With this new club sport, and the potential for more on the horizon, Ryan Buchanan has accepted the role of coordinator of club sports for AU. With the new administrative duties, Buchanan will step down from his head coaching duties with the AU NCAA men’s hockey program. He will now handle the day-to-day operations of the ACHA D2 team.
“I am pleased that Ryan Buchanan has accepted the new challenge as we expand our club sport offerings,” said Director of Athletics Jim Hamad. “He played a major role in getting hockey started at AU four years ago and now his skill set will be used in other areas that will benefit AU students.”
The Spartan ACHA D3 team just completed their third season of competition with a second appearance in the ACHA Division III National Championships.
AU will begin the process of hiring a head coach for the NCAA men’s hockey program in the coming weeks.
Aurora University is a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC), Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference, Midwest Men’s Lacrosse Conference and the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. The NACC began its first season of competition in the fall of 2006 and consists of 12 colleges and universities from the shared-border states of Illinois and Wisconsin. Member schools include: Alverno College, Aurora University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Chicago, Concordia University Wisconsin, Dominican University, Edgewood College, Lakeland College, Marian University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rockford University and Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Aurora University currently sponsors 22 sports, growing soon to 24, following the new announcements of NCAA women’s hockey and men’s volleyball. AU competes in all 18 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference-sponsored sports, as well as men’s hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse and women’s bowling. Men’s teams in the NACC include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. Women’s NACC squads are fielded in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
Aurora University is located in Aurora, Illinois – the second largest city in the state – about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago. The AU ACHA D2 men’s hockey team will play and practice at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, located just north of Aurora. The arena houses two ice sheets (NHL and Olympic), a hockey shop, training center and restaurant.