Tennessee State University named the head coach of its inaugural ice hockey team, which will debut in the 2024-2025 season. Duanté Abercrombie will coach what will be the first men’s ice hockey team at an HBCU.


“I am incredibly excited to embark on building this program, supported by God, my family, TSU students, alumni, and all those eagerly awaiting this moment,” Abercrombie said in a press release. “I firmly believe that one day, TSU will be recognized not only as a powerhouse on the ice but also as a program whose student-athletes leave a profound legacy on the world, enriched by the lessons learned at TSU.”

Abercrombie is also the first member of the National Hockey League Coaches’ Association’s BIPOC Coaches Program, which supports coaches of color. Prior to joining TSU, he was a coach for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Abercrombie previously attended Hampton University and went on to join the West Auckland Admirals of the New Zealand Ice Hockey League, as well as the Steele City Warriors and the Brewster Bulldogs of the Federal Hockey League.



“Today is a historic moment for Tennessee State University Athletics, as we welcome our first-ever hockey head coach,” Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen said. “With Duanté’s extensive experience in player development and coaching, I’m confident in his ability to build a reputable program, along inspire our student-athletes to excel both on-and-off the ice. We’re excited to embark on this groundbreaking journey together!”



“We recognize the profound significance of bringing hockey to an HBCU and providing our students with unparalleled opportunities that will enrich their college experience,” she said. “This bold move builds upon the TSU legacy that we had envisioned for the institution as a comprehensive university offering a wide range of academic and extracurricular programs, with a continued commitment to excellence.”

TSU will further expand its roster of collegiate sports offerings. The 2025-28 season is set to include baseball, women’s soccer, as well as women’s swimming and diving.