JANS – Tennessee State University is set to make history by becoming the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to offer men’s ice hockey at the collegiate level. The addition of ice hockey highlights the university’s dedication to fostering diversity, inclusion, and expanding athletic opportunities for students.
“Bringing ice hockey to Tennessee State University is a part of our continued commitment to provide our students with new opportunities and to broaden new interests in areas where they have traditionally had limited or no access,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.
TSU hockey will commence its inaugural season in 2024, signaling a new era for the university. The team will begin as a club-level program but aspires to NCAA Division I status for both men’s and women’s sides in the near future. While no specific timeline exists for achieving varsity NCAA status, TSU is committed to building a solid foundation for long-term success.
“Today is a historic day as Tennessee State University, a prestigious HBCU, collaborates with the National Hockey League (NHL, NHLPA) and the Nashville Predators in an unprecedented partnership,” stated Dr. Mikki Allen, TSU Director of Athletics.
TSU is currently in the process of hiring a Director of Hockey Operations. In the interim, Assistant AD Nick Guerriero will handle all inquiries related to hockey.
“I am thrilled to embark on this exciting journey with Dr. Allen to promote diversity and excellence in collegiate hockey,” said Guerriero.
The foray into collegiate ice hockey represents a significant milestone for Tennessee State University and the broader HBCU community. By breaking barriers and creating fresh opportunities, TSU hockey aims to establish a lasting legacy of inclusion, excellence, and athletic accomplishment.
To support this initiative, the NHL, NHLPA, Nashville Predators, and College Hockey Inc. will play integral roles in the announcement. College Hockey Inc. conducted a feasibility study in 2021, emphasizing the significance of introducing ice hockey at an HBCU to promote diversity and inclusion in sports.