Ep.4 | The Road to An NCAA Scholarship with Mike Snee

Coach Andy discusses the ins and outs of college hockey with Mike Snee, Executive Director of College Hockey Inc. Learn about the advantages of college hockey, how to get a scholarship, the rules to obtain a college scholarship, and much more.

Show Notes and Resources

Mike Snee, Executive Director at College Hockey Inc.

A talented hockey executive with experience in amateur hockey and the NHL, Mike Snee was named College Hockey, Inc.’s Executive Director on Aug. 28, 2012. In this role he guides College Hockey Inc.’s marketing efforts to promote Division I men’s college hockey and its work to help grow the number of institutions offering the sport.

Snee is a member of the USA Hockey Board of Directors and serves on USA Hockey’s Junior Council. He is also a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

In this episode, Mike discusses what to expect from college hockey, as well as tips on how best to prepare. He goes over some common misconceptions and interesting facts surrounding the NCAA, while elaborating on the benefits of a college hockey experience.

Like many of us, Mike Snee grew up playing hockey in Duluth, Minnesota. He attended St. Thomas University, graduating with a degree in marketing and landing his first job with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars. For the past 10 years, Mike has worked with many organizations and young aspiring hockey players, helping them achieve their organizational and individual goals.

Mike starts the discussion giving a bit of his background, followed by details on College Hockey Inc and what they do. The staff at College Hockey Inc are celebrating their 10-year anniversary as a non-profit organization, primarily funded by USA hockey. As he explains, they have the primary goal of promoting, marketing, and educating the public with accurate information on the college hockey route. Mike summarizes their goal with three main points:

  1. Providing education on the quality of play college hockey delivers is paramount. There are many notions of college hockey that are outdated or inaccurate – most notably, what opportunities the college experience can provide players beyond the game.
  2. The college hockey reputation has not been able to impact the game globally as much as it should. By spreading the true information about the value of college hockey and how much it has grown to mirror a professional lifestyle, they hope this can leverage public perceptions to have a global impact.
  3. Addressing players on an individual level. This includes provide information as to what players need to maintain academic and athletic eligibility

Mike goes on to speak of the scholarship process. He covers the timeline and average age of college freshmen, as well as the new rules for recruiting and commitments. One of the most asked questions the staff at College Hockey Inc receive is “What do I need to get a scholarship?”. The two most important pieces, he points out, are being a good enough player and meeting certain academic criteria – which can vary among schools. Mike divulges specific stats regarding scholarship demographics, and important details on how each school can distribute their limited scholarship packages. He finishes by pointing out the growing number of Canadian and European players coming to the NCAA, and how you can put yourself in the best position to make a Division I roster.

The day to day life of a college player is one of the most valuable pieces to the college hockey story. Despite the lack of public knowledge on the lifestyle, Mike outlines the incredible specifics of what it’s like to be a college athlete. Being surrounded by high-level players of all sports, having access to top-notch training and nutritional resources, and being provided quality academic assistance, are just some of the amazing benefits to a life in college hockey. These programs are provided generous funding to ensure the day of the athlete is structured, and every opportunity is given to see the player excel academically, and athletically.

Mike further speaks on the fear of managing the workload of both athletics and academics, provided interesting statistics on graduating rates, and percentage of professional players coming out of college. He again ensures every athlete is assisted in achieving their goals and provided whatever is necessary to maintain good standing with their school and the NCAA

The last major topic Mike covers is how families should handle the decision-making process, and the role of agents/advisors. He explains that parents and players should work to educate themselves by visiting a college campus, going to a watch an actual game, and learning about how to maintain college eligibility. Resources like www.collegehockeyinc.com’s FAQ section can be helpful in that regard.

In closing, Mike speaks on the three things he feels will help assist any player/parent when considering the college hockey route.

Enjoy this episode with Mike Snee!