Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover puts on a TSU hockey jersey after announcing that Tennessee State University the will be first HBCU to add a menโ€™s ice hockey team to the athletic program during a press conference

Tennessee State made an announcement on Wednesday that it will become the first historically black college and university to introduce an ice hockey program.

Athletic director Mikki Allen said the program will help diversify hockey with a partnership helping embrace inclusivity and diversity. Allen noted TSU has a full complement of other sports including a football program currently coached by former NFL star Eddie George.

“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 joins a recent movement among HBCUs adding additional programs to their athletic departments beyond the traditional football, menโ€™s and womenโ€™s basketball and menโ€™s and womenโ€™s track and field programs. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that it reached out to 46 Division I and D-II HBCUs and five conference offices about adding new programs.

To support this initiative, the NHL, NHL Players Association, Nashville Predators, and College Hockey Inc. will play integral roles in the lead-up to 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.

The next step will be the womenโ€™s team, then getting to Division I for both teams. The first team will practice at one of the rinks opened and operated by the Predators in recent years around Nashville.

Last year, Fisk University, also based in Nashville became the first HBCU to provide womenโ€™s gymnastics. In 2023โ€“24.

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman, is an 3x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the...

Leave a comment