History

The South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC), often referred to as “SEC Hockey”, is in its eighth season in 2015-16. Previously Divided into East and West Divisions similar to SEC football, SECHC teams (beginning in 2015-16) compete in One Division for the coveted ARMY STRONG Championship Cup.

The representative body of 10 teams participate in Division III of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). All of the teams are non-varsity intercollegiate ice hockey programs at universities that are members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in NCAA athletics.

Of the 10 SECHC teams, nine currently play in the South region of ACHA Division III. Arkansas competes in the West region of ACHA Division III. Kentucky, Texas A&M and Missouri all field collegiate hockey teams, but currently participate in ACHA Division II, making them ineligible to be in the SECHC which requires Division III status. Alabama and Arkansas elevated their successful ACHA DIII teams to ACHA D1 status beginning in the 2015-16 season. Arkansas also chose to field a second team to participate at the ACHA DIII level and as a member of the SECHC. Alabama currently does not have an ACHA DIII team.

The ten SECHC teams as of the 2015-16 season are: Arkansas (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Conference Championships: 5 (2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010), Auburn (Joined SECHC: 2010-11), Florida (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Georgia (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), LSU (Joined SECHC: 2009-10), Ole Miss (Joined SECHC: 2009-10), Mississippi State (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), South Carolina (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Tennessee (Joined SECHC: 2008-09, Conference Championships: 1 (2009) and Vanderbilt (Joined SECHC: 2008-09). Former SECHC member Alabama won one Conference Championship in 2011-12.

The teams of the SECHC play each other, and non-SECHC teams frequently throughout the season. Starting with the 2015-16 season, all 10 SECHC teams will play in one division and will be ranked via an internal coaches poll conducted and released periodically during the regular season. Teams will play 6 SECHC games against fellow SECHC opponents that will count toward the divisional standings. Teams must schedule and play games against at least 4 SECHC teams, but are free to schedule their opponents. A team may play another SECHC team more than 2 games, but only 2 games maximum will count towards the SECHC standings. .All games also count for the ACHA DIII South Region Rankings. Before the start of the new season, each team will notify the SECHC commissioner of the 6 SECHC games that will count for the SECHC rankings. The top eight teams as voted by the internal SECHC coaches poll at the end of the regular season will play for the SECHC conference championship in the SECHC Playoffs. SECHC teams also qualify for the ACHA DIII South Regional’s Playoffs and the ACHA DIII Nationals. The SECHC consistently place fellow SECHC teams in post-season play at the regional’s and national’s levels yearly.

In the inaugural year of 2008-2009, eight teams participated in the SECHC Playoffs, hosted by the University of Alabama’s former ACHA DIII team in Pelham, AL. The teams were seeded by their final rankings within the South region of ACHA Division III. Tennessee and Georgia met in the first championship game, with Tennessee taking home the inaugural SECHC Playoffs Championship. During the inaugural season, the playoffs were coordinated by the two co-founders of the SECHC, John Hoos, former head coach of the University of Georgia and Steve Durrigan, former head coach of the University of Tennessee. The Conference did not have a commissioner during the inaugural season and reached out to former longtime assistant coach and business manager (10-years) of Georgia Tech hockey, Kenny “Sarge” Day to serve as the first SECHC commissioner beginning with the 2009-10 season. Commissioner Day was unanimously re-elected three years later to his current position and is entering his 7th season as commissioner of the SECHC. Co-founder John Hoos now serves as an assistant coach with the University of Central Florida. The SECHC coach of the year award is named after John Hoos. Co-founder Steve Durrigan remains active with the SECHC as one of three members of the SECHC Board along with University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) head coach Angelo Rosena and Commissioner Day.

As the SECHC continues to expand and grow its fan base, teams are seeking out larger and more exciting venues; conference games and the championship playoffs are becoming sought after events. The SECHC has hosted their conference championship playoffs in Pelham, AL at the Pelham Ice Complex; Columbus, GA at the Columbus Civic Center and Huntsville, AL at the Benton H. Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex. Additionally, SECHC teams play games in exciting arenas such as the Bridgestone Arena, Ford Ice Center, Von Braun Center, Knoxville Coliseum, the DeSoto Civic Center, the Jones Center, and the Savannah Civic Center, among others. In the spring of 2014, The Classic Center Exhibition Hall with seating capacity exceeding 2,000 became the University of Georgia’s new home arena in Athens, GA becoming the first on campus hockey facility specifically constructed for an SECHC hockey program.

The members of the SECHC are proud to see old rivalries turning into new traditions on the ice among universities who are members of one of the most historic athletic conferences in the nation. If you have not witnessed a SECHC game, please do so this season and please make plans to attend the SECHC Playoffs at the beautiful Ford Ice Center 5-6-7 February 2016 co-hosted by the Nashville Predators and remember…You Can’t Step Out Of Bounds In Hockey!

Past Champions

Year
Location
Champion
Runner-Up
Score
2016
Antioch, TN
Georgia
Florida
7-4
2015
Pelham, AL
Arkansas
South Carolina
12-2
2014
Pelham, AL
Arkansas
Alabama
2-1
2013
Huntsville, AL
Arkansas
Alabama
8-0
2012
Huntsville, AL
Alabama
Florida
7-2
2011
Columbus, GA
Arkansas
Florida
5-2
2010
Pelham, AL
Arkansas
Florida
6-2
2009
Pelham, AL
Tennessee
Georgia
13-6