May 17, 2022
RHC staff report
The CCHA officially introduced Augustana as its ninth member on Tuesday. The league said the CCHA board of directors voted unanimously to admit the new program.
Augustana will launch its Division I program for the 2023-24 season.
“We are very pleased to welcome Augustana University to CCHA,” said Faith Hensrud, CCHA Board Chair and President of Bemidji State University. “Augustana University’s commitment to academic excellence mirrors that of all CCHA teams and will add to our overall excellence as a league.”
Last month, the program hired Minnesota assistant coach Garret Raboin as its first head coach. The school is currently building Midco Arena, which will be a state-of-the-art 3,000-seat arena with multiple suites and other premium seating options. The arena and launch of the program was facilitated by a senior gift from T. Denny Sanford.
“CCHA supports the continued growth of college hockey and is thrilled to accept Augustana University as its ninth member,” said CCHA Commissioner Don Lucia. “Sioux Falls is a proven hockey community and Augustana University’s commitment to Division I hockey is impressive. Our members look forward to assisting Augustana University in their transition to collegiate hockey and the CCHA over the next few years.
Augustana will immediately be a full voting member and will begin a transition schedule, playing 16 games (one series against each member) in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons before playing a full league schedule beginning in the season. 2025-26.
Augustana’s process of getting into the league began last year.
“Our planning is focused on what’s good for the conference and what will move the conference forward,” said Forrest Karr, chairman of the CCHA Board of Management and director of athletics for Northern Michigan University. “Our site visit team visited Augustana University in November and we were impressed with the high quality academic programs, exceptional athletic facilities, and excellent community support. Augustana University is building a sustainable hockey program that will add value to CCHA and position the conference for future success.