VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Binghamton University is looking to add 2 new varsity sports by the fall of next year.

New Director of Athletics Gene Marshall says BU wants to create Division I programs in men’s ice hockey and women’s field hockey.

Marshall says the effort began long before the men’s club hockey team won the national championship last month.

His predecessor Pat Elliott, with the support of university president Harvey Stenger, hired a consulting firm to lay out a road map for adding the varsity teams.

Marshall says the popularity of ice hockey and field hockey locally, and the amount of talent coming out of local high schools, should make the move a winner with the community.

“We would be well-attended at contests. So, I think it’s a win-win for Binghamton University, it’s a win-win for the community, it’s a win-win for the student athletes who would participate in those sports. And they would be joining a great group of student athletes here and coaches that are really poise and doing great things.”

Marshall says BU is currently in first place for the America East Commissioners Cup which measures achievements across all sports in the conference.

He says among the factors to be determined is hiring coaching staffs, purchasing equipment and determining where the teams will play and practice.

Marshall says the Arena is an option that they are considering among others.

If all goes well, the hope is to start the programs in the Fall of 2024.