Miami of Ohio’s hockey program has been successful for years, but getting to the school’s first Frozen Four, has some media perks. A week ago today, Miami defeated Minnesota Duluth 2-1 for the NCAA West Regional title and next faces Bemidji State on Thursday in the semifinals in Washington, D.C. Here’s an update courtesy of the Oxford Press:
By Pete Conrad, Staff Writer, Friday, April 3, 2009
OXFORD — The impact to Miami University of the school’s upcoming Frozen Four appearance will be widespread, according to Director of Athletics Brad Bates, reaching far beyond the bounds of coach Enrico Blasi’s hockey team.
"It validates the things we aspire to, not only with Rico’s leadership and his culture (of champions), but also the vision of our athletic program," Bates said.
"And it brings the inherent attention that is suddenly drawn to this great university," he said "It suddenly tells our story to a national audience that may not be familiar with Miami University."
The size of the Frozen Four national audience won’t match that of college basketball’s Final Four national audience, but Miami is not missing this chance to get the word out.
The school’s media relations department is busy reminding the national press that Miami’s history and tradition involves more than football’s Cradle of Coaches. Such as:
• The 15th president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, is a Miami graduate, class of 1852.
• During the Civil War 13 generals, including three in the Confederacy, were from Miami.
•Marvin "Monk" Pierce, class of 1916, was a Miami football, basketball and baseball player and father of former first lady Barbara Bush, father-in-law of former President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of former President George W. Bush.
Naturally, Miami’s hockey team and athletic department won’t suffer from the exposure.
"It definitely will help recruiting and the future of our hockey program," Bates said. "(Success at recruiting) is never surprising to me because I know how hard Rico and his assistants work, but I think this will bring a big impact."
Some college sports, such as football, see millions of dollars awarded for bowl appearances. Not so with the NCAA hockey championships.
"There isn’t a direct financial advantage," Bates said. "There is an indirect advantage. Access to (Frozen Four) tickets, the alums who get caught up in the excitement and are eager to help the program. The more you win, the more contagious it becomes.
"The great thing about it for Miami, this is history being made. We’re not repeating other people’s accomplishments. They’re adding pages to the history books."