About the SEC Hockey Conference
The South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) is in its 11th season in 2018-19. Previously Divided into East and West Divisions, beginning in the 2015-16 season, SECHC teams compete in one division.
The representative body of 8 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 eight SECHC teams, seven currently play in the South region of ACHA Division III. Arkansas competes in the West region of ACHA Division III.
The eight SECHC teams as of the 2018-2019 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), 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.
Of the eight SECHC teams, seven currently play in the South region of ACHA Division III. Arkansas competes in the West region of ACHA Division III. The eight SECHC teams as of the 2018-19 season are: Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
The teams of the SECHC play each other, and non-SECHC teams frequently throughout the season. All 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.