PNW welcomes men’s ice hockey


Photo provided.

Kevin Cole, men’s club hockey head coach

PNW Athletics announced the formation of a men’s club ice hockey team, which is set to debut in Fall 2019 under the direction of head coach, Kevin Cole.

Before coming to PNW, Cole coached American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III at Trine University for their first two seasons and worked as an assistant with Williston State College in North Dakota during their transition to ACHA Division II.

Rick Costello, athletic director, said in a Feb. 18 university press release that he is pleased to announce the new club team.

“Kevin has the background, energy and enthusiasm to develop an outstanding Ice Hockey program,” Costello said in the press release. “Kevin’s familiarity with recruiting outstanding student-athletes and building a program at Trine University will be a huge asset as we create a first-class ice hockey program at PNW.”

Cole said he is looking forward to coaching the team at PNW, explaining that the position presents a good opportunity for him and that he liked those he met in the athletic department.

The team will play in the ACHA Division II conference. Cole said he has started the process of interviewing students to be apart of the team.

The coach is looking for a team of 25 students for the first season. He stated that there are not many NCAA hockey sponsored teams throughout the United States, so he is looking for students that have prior experience playing ice hockey.

“I want to be the coach that can create change and makes things better for the players — make things better for hockey in general and just get as many people interested in the game as possible,” Cole said.

Cole previously played as a defenseman with the Soo Indians from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and economics.

The team will be playing home games at the Ice Kube Sports Complex, a $7.5 million project by the city of Hammond, next to Dowling Park. The facility will feature two ice rinks, locker rooms, a skating pro shop and a trampoline park as well. Once the rink is ready on Aug. 1, tryouts are expected to take place after Labor Day.

Cole hopes to have a prospect skate on an upcoming Saturday in April, potentially at the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer.