The University of Louisville Hockey team is a club sport, participating in the Southeast Conference in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Players interested in playing hockey for The University of Louisville need to complete the Prospective Athletic Form. We encourage prospective players to come to a game during the season. Any questions about our program should be directed to Coach Brian Graham.
Tryouts are held at the beginning of the fall academic semester and are open to anyone interested in playing hockey for The University of Louisville. An organizational meeting will be held to identify where tryout times and team information. This meeting is mandatory for new and returning players. Once the time and location of this organizational meeting is finalized, information will be posted on our homepage. Players must wear full protective gear and are required to pay a fee for tryout ice time prior to tryouts commencing.
Each player must meet all ACHA academic eligibility requirements to play hockey at the University of Louisville.
- The student must be enrolled in the university
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA
- Undergraduates must carry & pass a minimum of 9 credit hours
- Graduate students must carry & pass a minimum of 6 credit hours
As a club team status, the University of Louisville Hockey Club program DOES NOT offer scholarships. Academic Scholarships are available through the University of Louisville.
Each player pays a yearly fee of $3,000 to contribute to our operating budget of over $90,000/year. This pays for travel expenses, practice ice time, and uniforms. A yearly fee is common practice in collegiate level club hockey and we make every effort to keep player costs as low as possible. Mandatory fund raising efforts will also occur various times enabling us to keep the fees low.
Meet the Staff
Brian Graham // Head Coach
Brian Graham is head coach of the University of Louisville Ice Hockey Program. Coach Graham is entering his 8th season here with Louisville, winning the Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League championship 3 out the last 4 years while becoming a perennial top team in the Southeast. Coach Graham and Staff are looking to continue their ways with a very strong incoming class of players for 2018-19 season.
Coach Graham is originally from Connecticut, and began playing hockey at the age of five with the Wallingford Hawks Youth Hockey Organization. He then played throughout his high school years for the Sheehan Titans in Wallingford, CT, where he was a four year letterman. He led his team as captain for two years, after earning great respect from both his peers and his coaches. Coach Graham then continued his ice hockey career at the University of Kentucky while majoring in, and receiving his degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Business. Following his graduation from the University of Kentucky, Coach Graham went on to become the head coach at his Alma Mater, U of K, for two years. He coached them through two winning seasons, before moving back to Connecticut. While in CT, Coach Graham coached both at the high school level and the midget AAA level.
Coach Graham currently lives in Louisville with his wife, Barbara, and two children Colin, 12 and Ashley, 10. He is excited to continue coaching with the University of Louisville and making a deep run in the National Tournament for 2018-19 Season.
Chris Protenic // Assistant Coach
Matt Grzelak // Goaltending Coach
This is Matt Grzelak’s first full season as goaltending coach with the Louisville Cardinals hockey team. Matt has been coaching goaltenders for seven years starting in Chicago with the Joliet Jaguars AA program. Along with the Jaguar program, Matt coordinated private lessons for goalies around the city ranging from the bronze level St. Jude Knights to the U18 Chicago Mission. Following two years of coaching in Chicago, Matt permanently moved to Louisville to finish his college degree and continue coaching with the Ice Cardinal program in Louisville for all ages. In 2015, Grzelak became a full time assistant coach at St. Xavier High School. Matt was assistant coach for three seasons for St. Xavier along with private lessons for the youth program and for high school league goaltenders in the state. At the start of the 2018 calendar year Matt became the goalie coach for the University of Louisville Club hockey team and finished his final season coaching with the St. Xavier High School.
Buddy Goodlet // Team Medic
In the summer of 2011, Jim Shields said the Cards hockey team needed a trainer and asked Buddy if he’d be interested in the gig. After explaining that an RN is not a trainer and in KY (and most other states) they cannot call themselves a trainer, Jim said, “You’ll be fine. You’re just going to do first-aid and triage. You just need to show up for games in case something happens.” What happened is that Jim called Buddy on the night of the first practice of the 2011 season to ask if he wouldn’t mind coming to the rink and taking out a few stitches. He’s been a fixture at prackies ever since. And home games. And away games. Though he is referred to by the boys as the trainer sometimes, he’s just the medical guy.
Buddy was born in Houston, TX. He did not play hockey at the age of five, though he could spell it if pressed. He landed in Radcliff, KY in 1973 after the Army’s post-Vietnam reduction in force where he played little league football and baseball but no hockey. There was no hockey program at his high school but that was okay because he was a band nerd and spelling ‘hockey’ was still all he knew about the game. After high school he had a cup of coffee at a technical school and then a cup and a half at the University of Kentucky (and a pretty good time) before enlisting in the Air Force and becoming an electrician. In 1990, he went back to UK as a far better student and graduated with a BSN in 1995.
Buddy finally learned to skate and play hockey simultaneously in 2006 at an advanced age (which is none of your business) when he and his wife (whom he met and married during the ill-fated cup and a half) moved to Louisville. Some say he is the inspiration for the Never Ever adult hockey program at Iceland Sports Arena. One thing is certain, the C-League never saw him coming or they’d have set up a barrier or two. Thanks to Jim Shields, the coaches and players, Buddy happily dedicates his time to watching the Cards, looking for ways to prevent injuries, patching up boo boo’s, cheering, and occasionally offering playing tips to rookies who don’t realize he’s really a terrible hockey player.