The ice hockey club is getting back to its roots.
Last summer, Jerry Roberts, the Owls’ general manager, stepped down from his role at the club to pursue a master’s of business administration in corporate finance at Georgetown University.
Roberts will continue to serve as an adviser for the club, but his departure opens the door for students to once again take control of the program.
“Getting back to student-run is going to take a lot more work out of the officers,” said senior defenseman Patrick Hanrahan, who is in his second year as the team’s president. “We also may extend in the future to non-hockey players to become officers and help with the organization moving forward.”
Hanranhan handles the scheduling, the budget, which ranges from $95,000-$105,00 a year, player dues and keeps tabs on other officers. Senior defenseman Jason Lombardi is serving in his second year as the team’s vice president and is responsible for player registration, medical information and travel itineraries.
This year the team is adding two new officers to help with the responsibilities. Junior forward Matt Krulikowski will operate as the Owls’ secretary and will handle team and financial records as well as make announcements on behalf of the team.
Sophomore defenseman Ryan Dumbach is the club’s treasurer, who will work with Hanrahan on team finances, handle fundraising and alert the other officers of funding needs.
“I think we are going to embrace the challenges,” Dumbach said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I think that we have such smart guys that we are ready to handle it.”
When Temple’s ice hockey club was in its early stages in the 1990s, it was student run, but the club received help from the university and Campus Recreation. By the mid-2000s the players started to get more involved with the scheduling and operations of the club.
As the program grew, the duties became too much for players.
“It was really from a financial standpoint that it was very difficult for 18- and 19-year-old kids to understand the complexities of and manage a budget of $100,000 a year,” Roberts said. “There was no time to do it thoughtfully and carefully and teach along the way.”
When Roberts began coaching in 2009, he assumed the responsibilities of the clubs operations, like setting the budget and ordering equipment. It wasn’t until near the end of Roberts’ coaching career he realized the position was too taxing for one person to do.
“One of the things that other people had discussed was the fact that it is very difficult for a coach to focus on the operational side of the club and the X’s and O’s,” Roberts said. “One of the things we wanted to do in getting a new coach was to minimize the need for that person to handle the operational side.”
Roberts served in the role the last two years, but he met with Campus Recreation Sport Club Coordinator Peter Derstine this past spring about stepping away from the club.
“I think that was a critical component of the club,” Roberts said about the student-run structure. “That was one of the things I benefited from when I was a student was that development as students had the opportunity to run the organization and then learn from that environment. It is something we got away from over time and is something we want to get back to.”
Stephen Godwin can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @StephenGodwinJr.