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From RMUColonials.comIn his fourth season behind the bench of the Robert Morris program, head coach Derek Schooley believes that his team is ready to regularly compete for a College Hockey America title as well as with other top teams around the nation. After two successful seasons getting the program started, Schooley led his team to a 14-19-2 overall record and a third-place finish in the CHA in 2006-07. The Colonials advanced to the CHA Tournament finals before falling to Alabama-Huntsville, 5-4 in overtime. RMU defeated Bemidji State, 7-5, in the CHA Tournament semifinals.
Schooley’s Colonials have improved every year during the program’s first three seasons. In their inaugural season, the Colonials finished with an 8-21-4 overall record. Many people thought that anything other than a zero in the win column that season would be a surprise for the first-year team. However, Schooley and his staff would not accept any excuses from the Colonial players and pushed the team to vie for a CHA Championship and a NCAA Tournament berth. In his fourth season, those expectations for the program have not changed.
Schooley came to Robert Morris after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy. He spent his first four seasons with the Falcons as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2002-03 season.
While at Air Force, Schooley coached a defensive unit that broke the school record for goals against average in two of his last four seasons. The team’s goals against average of 2.91 in 2000-01 broke the record of 3.18 set a year earlier. Along with leading the defense at Air Force, Schooley assisted with nationwide recruiting efforts.
Prior to Air Force, Schooley spent a year as an assistant coach at Cornell during the 1997-98 season. He started his coaching career with the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League in 1997 as an assistant coach and director of scouting.
During the 1989-90 season, Schooley played for current Air Force head coach Frank Serratore with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Lancers claimed both the regular season (Anderson Cup) and playoff (Clark Cup) championships, and Schooley was named the 1989-90 Defensiveman of the Year.
A 1994 graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications, Schooley was a four-year letterwinner as a defenseman with the Broncos. As a senior during the 1993-94 campaign, he tallied 23 assists and scored 27 points in 40 games, earning Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Defensive Player of the Week honors Feb 4, 1994. Also during the 1993-94 campaign he was given the KOHA Grinder of the Year award and led the Broncos in plus-minus ratio with a +22.
Following his graduation from Western Michigan, Schooley played for the Huntington (W. Va.) Blizzard of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) during the 1994-95 season. In 66 games he scored 18 points and compiled 151 penalty minutes. During the 1995-96 campaign, Schooley spent part of the season with the Blizzard before joining the Flint (Mich.) Generals, where he helped the team to a Colonial Hockey League (CoHL) championship. During the 1996-97 season, Schooley played for both the Pensacola Ice Pilots and the Peoria Rivermen of the ECHL.
In 2001, Schooley was a head coach at the USA Hockey Select 14 and Select 15 Festival. He also has spoken at USA Hockey youth coaching clinics in Boulder, Colo., Jackson Hole, Wyo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Dallas, Texas.
In August 2002, Schooley gained international coaching experience as he was named an assistant coach with the United States Under-18 Select Team, which placed fifth in the Junior World Cup in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Schooley is married to the former Alicia Batson from Middleville, Mich. They are the proud parents of Kaitlyn, Brendan and Taylor.