Schooley Earns 4-Year Extension
CHN Staff Report
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. Derek Schooley, the only coach in Robert Morris' history, has received a four-year contract extension, taking him through the 2019-20 season.
Schooley was previously under contract through 2015-16; the new deal was approved by RMU Athletic Director Dr. Craig Coleman and President Dr. Gregory Dell’Omo.
This spring, the Colonials qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in 10 seasons of existence. RMU has finished with a winning percentage of .500 or better in each of its past four seasons – capped by the program’s first Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) title in March.
"We're delighted to extend Coach Schooley's contract into the next decade," Coleman said Monday. "He's the founder of the program and he has consistently pushed it to higher and higher levels."
Schooley’s overall record is 143-175-45. Last season the Colonials rebounded from a 2-12-2 start to win 17 of their last 26 games, including a 6-1 run in the AHA postseason tournament.
RMU lost to Minnesota in the first round of the NCAAs.
“I feel very fortunate to have started something very special from the ground up,” Schooley said. “Making the NCAA tournament was very exciting for not only me personally, but for everyone who has been involved in the first decade of RMU hockey.”
A native of St. Louis, Schooley played defense at Western Michigan University from 1991-94 and competed professionally for three years before started his coaching career in 1997 with the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League. Following stints as an assistant at Cornell and Air Force, Schooley was named RMU’s first varsity men’s hockey coach in 2003.
“It’s hard to believe that we have been in existence for 10 years,” said Schooley, who has three children – Kaitlyn, Brendan and Taylor – with his wife Alicia. “It seems like we just started Year 1 yesterday.”
After an eight-win yield in his first year, Schooley oversaw an improvement to 15-15-4 by 2007-08. A pair of sub-.500 campaigns followed, but since the Colonials joined the AHA in 2010-11, they have gone 74-61-19 overall. 43 of Schooley’s players have gone on to sign pro contracts, with four participating in NHL training camps and several others skating at NHL development camps.