The Tennessee Ice Vols are the club ice hockey team for students at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The team competes in the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) within the American Collegiate Hockey Conference (ACHC) against other teams representing SEC schools.
The Ice Vols have a rich tradition going all the way back to 1966. Entering into its 48th season of competition, the Ice Vols are the oldest program in the conference.
Recent seasons have been disappointing for the Ice Vols. The last time they had a winning season was the 2008-09 campaign. That season the Ice Vols qualified for the ACHC national tournament, but the years since have not been so kind to the team. Tennessee is looking to get competitive again, and the man leading that charge is head coach Cole Burkhalter.
Burkhalter previously worked as the Assistant Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL’s Boston Bruins. He also spent time working for the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Knoxville Ice Bears.
For Burkhalter, it’s a sort of coming home. Not only is he returning to his city and alma mater, he is also returning to the same building. The Ice Bears and Ice Vols share a home venue– the Civic Coliseum. The historic building is located in downtown Knoxville, and also serves as a concert venue. When the Civic Coliseum is unavailable, Tennessee plays its home games at the Icearium at the Cool Sports complex in Farragut.
The Ice Vols open the 2013-14 season at Eastern Kentucky University on Sept. 19.