BROOKLYN, N.Y. — LIU Brooklyn athletics director Brad Cohen and deputy director of athletics Margaret Alaimo announced the addition of women's ice hockey as the Blackbirds' 20th varsity sport Monday afternoon. In conjunction with this, LIU also announced that Rob Morgan has been named the inaugural head coach for the program that is scheduled to start play as a member of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) in 2019-20.
BLACKBIRD NATION! Get ready for a whole new team to cheer for! 💥🏒— LIU Athletics (@LIUAthletics) September 10, 2018
📰: Women’s Ice Hockey Added as Newest Varsity Sport at LIU Brooklyn; Morgan Tabbed as Inaugural Head Coach
🔗: https://t.co/eV1QmCWCjI#BrooklynHockey #NCAAHockey #BlackbirdNation #NEWHA @Rdmorgs pic.twitter.com/RpQyEq487b
"We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our athletic department with the addition of women's ice hockey," Alaimo said. "It affirms our commitment to increasing athletic opportunities for women, and we are excited to welcome Coach Morgan to the LIU family. He has the passion, energy and vision that is needed to build a championship program."
Morgan comes to downtown Brooklyn after spending the past year in China, developing professional women's hockey. He was the head coach of the Vanke Rays professional women's ice hockey club team, one of two Chinese expansion clubs in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.
The Vanke Rays and the Kunlun Red Star programs were started as a part of creating a successful long-term development plan for women's ice hockey in China as the nation prepared to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Morgan also served as associate head coach of the Chinese national hockey team.
"We are bringing NCAA Division I hockey to New York City, and I'm so incredibly thankful to our athletics director Brad Cohen and deputy director Margaret Alaimo for the confidence and trust that they have shown in me to serve as LIU Brooklyn's first ever women's hockey coach," Morgan said.
"It's been my career ambition to be a head coach at the Division I level. I'm so excited to share my knowledge and experiences in building a high-quality NCAA Division I hockey program at LIU Brooklyn." Prior to his stint in China, Morgan spent two seasons as associate head coach of the Yale women's ice hockey team. Morgan helped the Bulldogs earn a berth in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. During his two seasons with the team, Yale had five players earn All-Ivy League recognition and one earn All-ECAC Hockey honors.
Prior to his work at Yale, Morgan went 78-49-12 in five seasons as head coach at St. Norbert's, earning NCHA Coach of the Year honors after leading the team to a school-record 19 wins in 2013-14. He was named NCAA Division III West Region Coach of the Year after leading the Green Knights to an NCHA title in 2012-13. St. Norbert's made its first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance that year, falling to No. 1 Plattsburgh State in a national quarterfinal game.
Before taking over at St. Norbert's, Morgan spent six years at Dartmouth (2003-04 through 2008-09), helping the Big Green to five NCAA Tournament appearances -- including three straight from 2007 through 2009. In his time at Dartmouth Morgan coached four Olympians, 13 Under-22 national team players and one All-American.