The University of Alaska Anchorage is planning Tuesday morning “to announce the status of Seawolf Hockey reinstatement efforts,” and judging by the guest list, it’s likely to yield good news for the hockey team and its supporters.
Tuesday is the fundraising deadline for the program, which was given one year to come up with $3 million to stave off elimination by the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents.
A note on the Save Seawolf Hockey website says the campaign had raised $2.9-plus million as of Monday afternoon.
And given the fact the press conference will include a group ranging from UAA chancellor Sean Parnell to former player Jim Mayes, the fundraising campaign must have hit its goal, right?
“It’s a pretty good guess,” said Kathie Bethard, chairwoman of Save Seawolf Hockey.
Bethard is also among those scheduled to be on hand for the announcement, as is UAA athletic director Greg Myford.
The next step, provided the fundraising goal is met, is to earn official reinstatement from the university regents, whose next scheduled meeting is Sept. 9-10.
Hockey was one of three spots eliminated by regents nearly a year ago, but all three were given a shot at reinstatement provided they could reach specific fundraising goals. The other two programs, alpine skiing and gymnastics, already reached their goals.
If the hockey program is reinstated, it will be more than a year before a team takes the ice. The Seawolves are taking the 2021-22 season off, time they need to rebuild from scratch.
UAA sat out the 2020-21 season because of COVID-19, and with uncertainty surrounding the program, coach Matt Curley resigned earlier this summer and the team’s players have moved on to other programs or graduated.