Inside the CHF
The South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) is in its 13th season in 2020-21. Previously divided into East and West Divisions, beginning in the 2015-16 season, SECHC teams compete in one division. Following expansion to begin the 2019-20 season, the SECHC now has three divisions: East, West, and South.
The representative body of 17 teams participates in Division II of the Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF).
The 17 SECHC teams as of the 2020-21 season are Alabama (Joined SECHC 2008-09) Conference championships 1 (2011-12) Auburn (Joined SECHC: 2010-11), Florida (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Georgia (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Conference Championships 3 (2016, 2017, 2019) Ole Miss (Joined SECHC 2009-09) Conference Championships 1 (2019-20) South Carolina (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Tennessee (Joined SECHC: 2008-09), Conference Championships: 1 (2009) and Vanderbilt (Joined SECHC: 2008-09). Alabama-Huntsville, Clemson, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Lynn, and Middle Tennessee State joined in the 2019-20 season. The most recent addition, Eastern Kentucky joined in 2020-21.
Former SECHC member Arkansas (Joined SECHC 2008-09) won 6 Conference Championships in 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2017-18.
In the inaugural year of 2008-2009, eight teams participated in the SECHC Playoffs, hosted by the University of Alabama in Pelham, AL. The teams were seeded by their final rankings within the South region, and by their record within the SECHC. Tennessee and Georgia met in the first championship game, with Tennessee, coached by Steve Durrigan taking home the inaugural SECHC Playoffs Championship. The original members of the SECHC 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. Commissioner Day was unanimously re-elected three years later and served as Commissioner for 8-seasons. Former Tennessee Head Coach Steve Durrigan served as SECHC commissioner during the 2016-17 season and current commissioner Justin Bradford has served as the SECHC leader since the 2017-18 season. Commissioner Bradford is the Host/Editor-in-Chief of Penalty Box Radio and is the author of “The Making of Smashville.”
The SECHC Championship Cup is named for former commissioner Sarge Day who continues to serve the conference as Commissioner Emeritus and Director of Hockey Operations and as a member of the SECHC Board. Commissioner Bradford and Georgia GM/assistant coach John Camp also serves as SECHC Board members. John Camp also serves as assistant commissioner of the SECHC.
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 its conference championship playoffs in Pelham, AL at the Pelham Ice Complex; Columbus, GA at the Columbus Civic Center; Huntsville, AL at the Benton H. Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex and at the Ford Ice Centers at both Antioch, TN, and Bellevue, TN (co-sponsored by the Nashville Predators).
Additionally, SECHC teams play games in exciting arenas such as the Bridgestone Arena, Ford Ice Centers, Von Braun Center, Knoxville Coliseum, the Mid-South Ice House, the Pavilion, Palm Beach Ice Works, Florida Panthers Ice Den, the DeSoto Civic Center, the Lexington Ice 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 a SECHC hockey program. UGA Hockey | Classic Center, GA.