Tennessee State University looks to establish first HBCU hockey teams, school says

Tennessee — Tennessee could be the first state to host varsity collegiate hockey teams at an HBCU school.

A feasibility study is currently underway to explore the possibility of men’s and women’s hockey teams at Tennessee State University, the school announced in a press release.

The study, sponsored by the National Hockey League, National Hockey Players’ Association and the Nashville Predators, will help guide TSU through the planning process and requisites for establishing a varsity hockey program, the school said. It will also determine how viable hockey is at TSU and what needs to happen to get a team or teams on the ice.

Studies like this are being launched throughout the country, but the possibility and excitement of creating the first HBCU varsity hockey program in Tennessee is not lost on Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover.

“The idea of establishing a collegiate hockey program at TSU is a tremendous opportunity as the nation’s first HBCU to take on this endeavor,” Glover said. “This allows us to expand the sport, increase diversity, and introduce a new fan base.”

If hockey does come to TSU, school athletic director Mikki Allen said that the program or programs could be filled with local talent.

“Despite the absence of a Division-I Hockey program, the state is filled with talented prospective student-athletes that could build a winning program at Tennessee State University,” Allen said.

TSU said that over the last 10 years, Middle Tennessee has seen the second-highest percentage of increase in youth hockey in the United States.