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Rivier University to Launch Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Programs

Rivier University announced it will add men’s and women’s ice hockey to its roster of athletics teams in fall 2021, expanding to 15 intercollegiate teams. Conway Arena in Nashua will serve as the Raiders’ home ice, and the University will launch a national search for head hockey coaches in October.

“With the launch of men’s and women’s ice hockey programs, the University continues to demonstrate its deep commitment to college athletics and student success,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “Recruitment of athletes for these teams will add to recent momentum generated through the expansion of our athletics and academic facilities, launch of in-demand academic majors, and addition of early admission incentives.”

Rivier intends to launch the NCAA Division III team in fall 2021.

Through its Vision 2020 strategic plan, the University recently enhanced athletics facilities through the construction of the Linda Robinson Athletics Pavilion, the build-out of a softball venue, and the naming of Joanne Merrill Field. The facilities support both Raider athletics and community events. These projects are matched with the completion of a 36,000 square-foot Science and Innovation Center supporting nursing, biology, and biotechnology majors. In addition, students are enrolling in new, in-demand degree programs in Health Science, Sport Management, Homeland & International Security, Cybersecurity Management, and criminal justice programs.

Student recruitment and the search for head coaches for the men’s and women’s teams will commence this month. “We’re looking for hockey coaches who share our deep belief in the value of Division III athletics, which prioritizes student-athletes as students first who develop skills for learning and leadership,” shares Joanne Merrill, Rivier’s Director of Athletics. “Rivier athletes receive an exceptional education enhanced by Division III competition in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), teamwork, and opportunities through the University’s Employment Promise Program.”

While expanding the University’s athletics offerings, the launch of ice hockey will also add collegiate level competition to the city of Nashua. “The addition of hockey is great news for local high school players who want to compete at the University level without leaving the state of New Hampshire,” says Brad Kreick, Chair of Rivier’s Board of Trustees and a former Division I ice hockey player. “Bringing college ice hockey to Nashua is a win for both the University and the city. We look forward to our inaugural teams taking the ice in 2021.”

Students interested in learning more about Rivier and ice hockey programs should contact Paul Brower, Vice President for Enrollment Management, in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (603) 897-8516 or Students can take advantage of Rivier’s Early Acceptance Program which offers on-the-spot acceptance and $2,500 in incentives when they apply, interview, and tour campus by November 15. Interview and tour dates can be scheduled online at