- The Hockey East Association and Notre Dame announced today that the Fighting Irish have been accepted into the league as the 11th member school and will begin hockey play in the 2013-14 campaign ... the announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena ... in making the announcement, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said, "It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference. The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement." ... Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said, "We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season. Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame's fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance, was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University." ... Irish head coach Jeff Jackson added, "We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. The conference is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame's values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East's commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally-televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East Association members for this tremendous opportunity." - Notre Dame already has sold out its allotment of women's basketball season tickets in Purcell Pavilion for the 2011-12 season ... a limited number of single-game tickets go on sale next week, with season-ticket holders having first shot at those. - Speaking of tickets, hockey tickets are a hot-enough item in the new Compton Family Ice Arena that a number of Irish home games already feature only stand-room availability. - There are three former Irish players alive in the Major League Baseball playoffs - John Axford and Craig Counsell with the Milwaukee Brewers and Brad Lidge with the Philadelphia Phillies. - As the Dan Devine sculpture dedication looms on Friday afternoon, consider some of the assistant coaches who worked under Devine: * The late Jim Johnson, who became a highly-successful NFL defensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles and also coached with Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis and Seattle * Jim Gruden, later a longtime NFL scout and father of Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden * Merv Johnson, who went on to become offensive coordinator for 20 seasons at Oklahoma. * Greg Blache, who became a successful NFL defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears * Hank Kuhlmann who went on to coach in Green Bay and Tampa Bay and briefly served as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 1989 * Johnny Roland who coached with Arizona, New Orleans, Green Bay, Philadelphia, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Chicago in the NFL * Bill Meyers who coached with Pittsburgh and the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders in the NFL * Francis Peay, later the head coach at Northwestern * Gene Smith, now the athletics director at Ohio State * Ron Toman, later an NFL Indianapolis Colts assistant * Longtime Irish assistants Joe Yonto and Brian Boulac - The men's golf team climbed to 20th in this week's (Oct. 5-11) Golfstat rankings ... it marks the first time since October of 2005 that the Irish have been ranked in the Golfstat polls .. in addition to finding themselves within the top 25 of the Golfstat rankings, the Irish also debuted at 28th in the first Golfweek/Sagarin rankings of the 2011-12 season, which was released Sunday. - Men's golfer Max Scodro has been tabbed BIG EAST Men's Golfer of the Month for September ... the Irish senior notched three top-15 results during the month while finishing as the top Notre Dame golfer at each of the three events ... entering his final campaign with the Irish, Scodro sat third in career stroke average (minimum 35 rounds played) at 73.99 and after a three-tournament September slate that saw him finish fourth, tied for sixth and tied for 11th, Scodro has moved into second on that prestigious list with a73.80 average. - The BIG EAST and Big Ten conferences have announced the pairings for the 2012 Big Ten-BIG EAST Baseball Challenge, hosted by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission ... the fourth annual event begins Feb. 17 and will feature a 24-game schedule spanning three days and five venues in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area ... Notre Dame opens the event against Illinois and return to action with games against Iowa and Purdue throughout the weekend.
Daily Dish - 10.5.11
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