By Andrew Scarpaci, Sports Editor
Long Island University has announced two new athletic programs to be added to campus. Men’s Ice Hockey and Men’s Swimming are the newest teams to join the campus’s roster of 30 sports.
According to Athletic Director Dr. Bill Martinov, these two programs are just the tip of the iceberg for the expansion of LIUs athletic department. “We have a master plan for athletics that has included these three sports being added this current year,” he said. “We have had 10 new sports added in the past six years as part of our growth plan for the future.”
With many paths to go through, Martinov believed recruitment would be the answer to get these teams ready to go as soon as possible. “Understanding the great opportunity to recruit exceptional student-athletes for these sports was and always will be imperative to considering new sport program opportunities,” he said. “We strive to maintain a quality student-athlete experience, so understanding the recruitment opportunities, the support programs and services we have and, more importantly, the quality education that our student-athletes receive is ultra-important.”
According to Martinov, the programs plan to recruit the best students possible to ensure they start off their first seasons strong. “As with all of our programs, we are looking across the nation and globe to bring the best and brightest talent student-athletes to the LIU community as possible,” he said. “We’re already recruiting through various venues such as our online website questionnaire, direct outreach from prospective student-athletes who saw our announcement, as well as our coaches having a thorough understanding of the prospective student-athlete talent landscape.”
Brett Riley has been named head coach of the Men’s Ice Hockey Program, and head coach of the Women’s Swimming team, Matthew Donovan, will be at the helm of the Men’s program as well. Dr. Martnov could not be more pleased with the selection of head coaches by the athletic department.
“We look for exceptional coaches who have great energy, positive attitudes, and can recruit exceptional student-athletes,” he said. “We pride ourselves in our culture of student success at LIU, and believe that by being enthusiastic about the many great opportunities to grow at LIU, we’ll find the right staff.”
As the programs develop, Martinov hopes to increase the competitiveness of the teams. “Our teams will be prepared to compete right away. Furthermore, as we recruit future incoming classes, we will develop more depth and more competitive nature within our programs,” Martinov said. “This usually leads to developing your best, most competitive team possible. Ultimately, we want people to want to be at LIU because then it works for everyone, especially our student-athletes, our staff, and our coaches.”
According to Martinov, Ice Hockey will be independent of any specific conference until one is picked for the 2021-2022 school year, and will study at the Post campus. Swimming will be studying at the Brooklyn campus and will be competing in the NEC and against other local Division I schools.