UAF has big plans for its hockey program
Hockey is big business at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
"Our flagship program is our hockey program," says Keith Champagne, UAF's new vice chancellor.
He also oversees athletics. Champagne will help hire the program's new head coach but, he'll decide more than personnel. He is navigating the department through a new chapter. He wants to add more minority players to reflect the diverse community of Fairbanks. That includes having more black hockey players on the ice at UAF.
"Many of the-- what you see in modern hockey today, the goalie moving away from the net, moving up and down-- was first displayed in the Colored Hockey Leagues," says Champagne.
Former slaves created the league across Canada just before the start of the 20th Century.
Champagne is also looking to develop a culture of winning in UAF's women's basketball and volleyball programs. All great ideas but, all of them take money. UAF could create the Nanook Association, which would complement current fundraising efforts.
"We can improve it to bring in additional dollars, and look at untapped resources in terms of corporate sponsorships. And, in terms of who we don't have a partnership with, in terms of businesses in the area," Champagne said.
He hopes that pays off in a big way, and make this "champagne" the toast of Fairbanks.
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