Davenport announces women’s hockey program and head coach

By Michael Caples - 

Collegiate women’s hockey is coming to Grand Rapids.

Davenport University has announced that the school has created a women’s team, and selected former Davenport men’s coach Tom Hofman to build the foundation as the team’s first coach.

Beginning in the 2013-14 season, the Panthers will compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Assocation’s Divison 1 level, which already features Michigan-based teams from Grand Valley State, Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Central Michigan and Adrian.

“We are very excited to add Women’s Hockey to our plethora of athletic programs offered at Davenport University,” said athletic director Paul Lowden in a press release issued by the school. “With the success of both our Men’s ACHA DI (formerly DII) and Men’s ACHA DIII program, it is a natural fit for us to complement those programs with Women’s Hockey at the ACHA DI level.”

Hofman, who came to Davenport before the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach for the men’s ACHA D1 program, previously spent two seasons with the Grand Valley women’s team.

“First of all I’d like to thank Paul Lowden and the entire organization for showing confidence in me, said Hofman. Being a part of the Davenport head coaching staff is an honor for me. The success DU has had sets high expectations. It is the opportunity I have been waiting for, but the hard work of recruiting and building a team begins today.”

Hofman has also been very active in the State Games of Michigan since the tournament’s inception, leading his District 6 bantam boys’ teams to gold in 2011 and bronze in 2012.

“Adding women’s hockey to the mix was only a matter of time for Davenport University hockey,” Hofman said. “With the number of youth female hockey players increasing in Michigan, these female students will need a place to play. We can now provide another option for them. Davenport fully supports their athletics which translates directly in the success we have had here throughout the entire athletic department. Everything here is done right, that’s what excites me.”