August 11, 2011

Ferris State Statement On College Hockey

Big Rapids, Mich. - Below is a statement from Ferris State University Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger regarding recent movements and developments in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) membership and how it impacts Bulldog Hockey:

“The recent announcement of two schools deciding to leave the CCHA following the 2012-13 season did not come as a surprise to us.  Miami and Northern Michigan seized an opportunity (through the acceptance of an invitation) that they felt was in the best interests of their respective institutions and hockey programs. The alignment of collegiate athletic conferences as we’ve known them recently began to shift (due to TV revenue) and this practice has now made its way into the college hockey ranks. The advent of Big 10 hockey has been a strong probability for many years and the recent decision by Penn State to add men’s ice hockey resulted in CCHA members Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State indicating their plans to leave the CCHA following the 2012-13 season.

These developments present opportunities for us to step out from the shadows of our Big 10 friends and hockey rivals and chart a new identity for Bulldog hockey that aligns us with schools that have more in common with Ferris State and are “like-minded ” institutions in terms of the support and presentation of our hockey programs.

All remaining CCHA schools, including Ferris State, are actively considering what opportunities may be created or presented. We are confident that opportunities, including a “new-look” CCHA, will exist for us and I would like to assure all Bulldog hockey fans, alumni, students, student-athletes and prospective student-athletes that our commitment to the on-going development of our hockey program is strong and resolute. These may be uncertain times to some, but for Ferris State they are times for reaffirming our commitment to Bulldog hockey through the exploration of opportunities that weren’t there in the past.

Ferris State has a well-respected hockey program with outstanding student-athletes, talented players that graduate and secure good jobs or continue to play professional hockey along with a tremendous coaching staff that provides outstanding leadership for these young men.  In addition, we are supported by a vibrant institution of higher learning with leadership that fully understands the importance and value of our hockey program. We have outstanding student fan support, solid local community support and an alumni base that is more engaged each and every year.  We need to continue to develop and grow our support and fan base as our competitive and economic model changes based on how conference membership evolves. In addition, we play hockey in the great state of Michigan, which is recognized as one of the premier hockey states in the country.  

Here are a few of our competitive highlights in the past decade as a member of the CCHA;
•    6 All-Americans
•    1 CCHA Player of the Year Award
•    1 CCHA Coach of the Year Award
•    One of only six schools to have won either a regular season or tournament championship.
•    Part of the second-largest tournament championship game attendance in history (19,097 in 2003).
•    Ranked 2nd in total number of wins (excluding departed Big 10 schools and Miami).
•    Ranked 3rd in total number CCHA wins (excluding departed Big 10 schools and Miami).
•    Made 29 national television appearances since 2006.

So now more than ever we need the patience and support of Bulldog fans everywhere.  Opportunities will exist and we remain optimistic and excited about the future of Ferris State Hockey. 

Thank you and Go Bulldogs!”


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