(KEYC) — As we learned last June, the Minnesota State Mavericks are among the seven institutions joining the newly revived Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the 2021-2022 season.
After a year of refreshing the brand and identity, the conference officially named its first commissioner on Wednesday.
“We could not be happier to have Don [Lucia] join us as our commissioner,” Northern Michigan University President Fritz Erickson said.
Lucia has coached at the Division I and Division II levels in three different conferences and won two national championships in 19 years with the Minnesota Gophers.
"We have to take care of the game and that's one of my goals is to help take care of the game of college hockey in these unique times, so I'm just really excited to get going and continue these relationships and I think there is big things to come for the CCHA and college hockey in the future and I'm just really proud of it," Lucia said.
Lucia stressed that any teams looking to join the new league would need to fit the mold.
“Teams that we want to look to add and be a part of this league have to have that institutional commitment or it doesn’t work. When I interviewed, I said I very much want to be a league that is top driven, and we want the top driving this CCHA as far as pushing to be the best league we possibly can. We don’t want to have a situation where teams don’t have the funding necessary to play at this level,” Lucia said.
Moving forward, Lucia says the focus is to put together staff for the CCHA, instill scheduling models, bringing referees on board and continue branding efforts.