With the success of so many Michigan colleges in the sport of hockey, on the men's side, it seems only logical that a women's team would make sense as well. Seven colleges in Michigan have their own varsity men's programs in varying levels of play.

However, there are only six total colleges in the state of Michigan that offer college women's hockey, and only two of them in the NCAA. So if the Michigan Wolverines were to add their own program, would it be worth it, and would it stand a chance?

Women's Hockey is becoming increasingly popular across the country. While the men's leagues have the brutality, women's hockey has the speed and technicality that many hockey aficionados still love to see in the game. In fact, a Professional Women's Hockey League is in the midst of its inaugural season, and seeing record crowds.

However, on the collegiate level, women's hockey is severely lacking, even in Michigan.

Michigan Schools that Offer Women's Hockey Scholarships

Six schools have programs that offer scholarships for women's hockey, and only two of those are affiliated with the NCAA:

  • Davenport University, Grand Rapids (NCAA Div-II)
  • Adrian College, Adrian (NCAA Div. III)

The other four schools - Aquinas College, Lawrence Technological University, Concordia University, and University of Michigan (Dearborn) - all offer NAIA scholarships. While the Wolverine's Dearborn school is associated with the Ann Arbor main campus, the actual school is not an NCAA school.

Michigan Women's Hockey Today

Interestingly enough, the University of Michigan DOES have a women's hockey program, but not in an official NCAA capacity. They do play in the Central Collegiate Women's Hockey Association Conference, alongside familiar names like Michigan State, Penn State, and the aforementioned Adrian and Aquinas Colleges.

The big difference is, none of these powerhouse schools offer NCAA Div. I scholarships for their players. Now, The University of Michigan wants to fix that. University President Santa Ono has taken steps to legitimize the school's program, and offer scholarships at a Div. I NCAA school where there are none in the state.

Regents member Marian Ilitch said making this program a legitimate NCAA contender would keep potential players and students in state.

"Other colleges are creating hockey teams and we're losing great talent in Michigan. We're a Big Ten school. There's no reason why our women can't be on the ice. We need to step up as an institution now and be a leader here for the state of Michigan. There's a desire. There's an appetite here for it. And we need to meet the need."

It should be noted, too, that the Lady Wolverines team is quite good with 14 tournament appearances since 2001, and two CCWHA championships in 2000, and 2001.

Michigan as a whole seems to be embracing women's hockey quite favorably, as a Pro league game between women's teams from Boston and Ottawa set attendance records at Little Caesar's Arena.

So clearly the desire for women's hockey in Michigan is here, and YES, the University of Michigan could absolutely pull this off. The question is, who will follow suit?

Michigan State Hockey Over The Years

The Evolution of the University of Michigan Wolverines Logo

The University of Michigan's athletic logo has changed dramatically over the last 100-plus years. It has gone through 7 different evolutions since 1912. Let's take a look at how the U of M athletic logo has changed over the last 100-plus years.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow