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Augustana University Plans To Add D1 Men’s Hockey

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Augustana University Plans To Add Men's Hockey

Augustana University in Sioux Falls is planning to add a men’s hockey program that would compete at the division one level.

On Wednesday, the school confirmed the report. The news was first announced on Tuesday night by John Buccigross of ESPN.

According to Buccigross, the plan mentions the program starting in 2023 and would include a new ‘on campus rink.’

In a statement acquired by Midco Sports Network early Wednesday, Augustana University confirmed the news.

“The university plans to add a men’s hockey program that would compete at the NCAA Division I level. The addition of such a program will be the first of its kind in the state and will be game-changing for Augustana and Sioux Falls as one of just over 60 schools in the country offering Division I men’s hockey.”

The statement also goes on to mention that there was a ‘lead gift’ made from T Denny Sanford to help ‘facilitate this extraordinary opportunity.’

This recent news coincides with Augustana’s recent “Vikings Bold: The Journey to 2030” plan, which is hoping to elevate the national profile of the university, while also increasing undergrad student enrollment.

Back in December of 2018, Augustana University announced that it would be transitioning to a Division I institution in athletics, but just this past spring, the Summit League denied the Vikings application to join its conference. The Summit League houses South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota in numerous sports that include softball, baseball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball. 

It wouldn’t be unusual if Augustana University just competed in one sport at the division I level to start with. After all, Minnesota State University (Mankato) is DI in men’s and women’s hockey, but remains DII in its remaining sports.

Augustana University plans to announce more information this summer on the recent announcement of a men’s DI hockey program.