Recruiting

Recruiting Information

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 Portrait

Brian Graham - Head Coach

Brian Graham is head coach of the University of Louisville Ice Hockey Program. Coach Graham is entering his 11th season here with Louisville, winning the Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League championship 3 out the last 5 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 2021-22 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, 13 and Ashley, 11. He is excited to continue coaching with the University of Louisville and making a deep run in the National Tournament for 2019-20 Season.

Louie Abounader - Assistant Coach Portrait

Louie Abounader - Assistant Coach

Louie Abounader is an assistant coach for the University of Louisville hockey team. As the newest addition to this year's coaching staff, Louie is entering his first season with the Cardinals and first season coaching overall.

Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Louie began playing hockey at the age of four years old. Having frequently participated at the top competitive level in Montreal's youth hockey system, he was recruited to play for Gilmour Academy's Prep program, where he spent two seasons at the U-18 AAA level. Upon graduation in 2013, Louie then committed to Nichols College, briefly competing at the NCAA Division III level before electing to transfer to ACHA Division I's Davenport University in 2015. While at Davenport, Louie was a member of two National Tournament-qualifying teams, en route to earning his Bachelor's degree in Sport Management in 2017. He then enrolled at the University of Louisville, where he was able to earn his Master's degree in Sport Administration in 2019, while simultaneously competing for the team he now coaches. Louie was an assistant captain during his time as a player with the Cardinals who, along with teammate Yannis Soukas, were fixtures among the nation's leading scorers at the ACHA Division II level. As a player for Louisville, Louie accumulated All-TSCHL recognitions as a 1st Team selection in 2018-19 and an honorable mention in 2017-18. As a final curtain call to his playing career, Louie embraced his Lebanese family heritage by competing at the 2020 Arab Cup of Hockey as a member of Lebanon's Senior National Team, earning himself a bronze medal in the process.

In January 2022, Louie was hired as the first ever Director of Hockey for the Louisville Ice Cardinals youth program. In spearheading this initiative, he hopes to grow the amazing game of hockey at the grassroots level within the Louisville metro area.

Louie currently resides in Jeffersonville, Indiana with his lovely fiancé Shannon.

Matt Grzelak - Assistant & Goalie Coach Portrait

Matt Grzelak - Assistant & Goalie Coach

This is Matt Grzelak’s fourth season as an assistant coach with the Louisville Cardinals hockey team. Matt has been coaching goaltenders for eight 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 Portrait

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.

Andrew Baldridge - Equipment Manager Portrait

Andrew Baldridge - Equipment Manager

Skyler Hall - Student Manager Portrait

Skyler Hall - Student Manager

Learn more about the team

Learn more