ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University has named Kevin Cole as head coach of its American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III men's hockey team.
Cole comes to Trine after having served as an assistant for Williston (N.D.) State College's hockey team as they transitioned to ACHA Division II. In the 2016-17 season, Cole helped the team become a top ranked program. With the help of Cole, who worked mainly with the defense and power play, the Tetons culminated their inaugural ACHA season with a trip to the national tournament.
"What drew me to Trine was the family atmosphere of the community and the excitement that surrounds the University and its athletic programs," Cole said. "I look forward to building a tradition of excellence, similar to other sports at Trine, for the new hockey program.
Cole graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in human resources and economics in 2006. He last took the ice as a defenseman for the Soo Indians from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. of the Junior A North American Hockey League.
"Kevin's recent experience with bringing a team to success in the ACHA is a valuable addition to our coaching staff and it gives him a great foundation for building our ACHA Division III program," explained Matt Land assistant vice president of athletics.
Construction on the Thunder Ice Arena, which will house Trine's ACHA and NCAA hockey programs, was just recently completed. The arena, with an estimated construction cost of $7.5 million, includes an NCAA-compliant ice rink; men's and women's varsity, club and visitor's lockers; concessions; a pro shop with wearables; sticks and skates for sale; a VIP lounge, and weight and training rooms.
The ACHA Division III hockey program at Trine will begin play in 2017-18. It will be compete as an independent this season. The Thunder will face other ACHA Division III teams from, among others, Purdue University, Michigan State University, and Ball State University.