Robert Morris' only men's hockey head coach through its first decade will continue to hold that role through the end of this one, the school announced Monday.
Derek Schooley, who led the Colonials last season to the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after stints in the now-defunct College Hockey America and Atlantic Hockey, was rewarded with a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2019-20 season.
The agreement between the two is on top of his previous contract that went through 2015-16.
"We're delighted to extend Coach Schooley's contract into the next decade," Robert Morris Athletic Director Dr. Craig Coleman said in a statement released by the school. "He's the founder of the program and he has consistently pushed it to higher and higher levels. With him, the NCAA Tournament hasn't seen the last of us!"
Since beginning with RMU's Division 1 hockey program in 2004-05, Schooley has had an overall record of 143-175-5. Last year saw the Colonials begin the year 2-12-2 before a ceremonial cleansing in January helped spark a turnaround. The Colonials, which led the nation in goals per game during the second half of the regular season, won the Atlantic Hockey conference tournament - despite losing starting goaltender Terry Shafer in the first round - as the fifth seed.
Robert Morris fell in the NCAA Tournament opening round 7-3 to Minnesota, but not before Schooley believed his team showed the country a thing or two.
"We never quit, I am really proud of our hockey team. I thought we played hard," he said at the time in March. "It's a team that didn't quit, a team that worked so hard.
"I hope everybody in Minnesota now realizes our team and how hard we play."
The Colonials return several key pieces next season. That includes senior Cody Wydo, who finished second in the nation in goals last season with 31, along with linemates Zac Lynch and Scott Jacklin. All three scored more than 38 points. Additionally both Shafer and backup Dalton Izyk, the freshman that stepped in during the Atlantic Hockey tournament, come back.
That group looks to return to Atlantic Hockey and the NCAA Tournament after getting its first taste of the latter.
"I feel very fortunate to have started something very special from the ground up," Schooley said. "Making the NCAA Tournament was very exciting for not only me personally, but for everyone who has been involved in the first decade of RMU hockey."