Jim Scherr, the Commissioner of college hockey's newest conference, said that Novak, in his role, will primarily be responsible for the internal hockey operations and administration for the NCAA Division I men's intercollegiate hockey conference that will be begin play in the 2013-14 season. Among Novak's immediate tasks will be developing, in consultation with Conference members, a comprehensive playing schedule; organizing and maintaining a system to hire, assign, compensate, evaluate, and supervise on-ice officials; developing and implementing the Conference's rules, playing standards, statistical programs and discipline program; and serving as the hockey operations liaison with the Conference's coaches and others in the hockey community.
The Colorado Springs resident brings to the Conference more than 30 years of experience in sports management, the last 15 of them with the United States Air Force Academy, including roles in NCAA Division I athletic operations, events management and scheduling, athletic facilities management, contract management, and tournament and special events director. He has worked as an on-ice hockey official, a Supervisor of Officials with USA Hockey and an off-ice official with the National Hockey League and the Olympic Winter Games.
Novak joins the Conference after serving in a critical position with the accomplished Air Force Academy's Athletics department in several management roles, including Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Operations and Events. His range of experience also includes being an off-ice official at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver; Ice Hockey Game Operations Manager for the Torino 2006 Olympic Committee/International Ice Hockey Federation for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in the Italian city; and managing athletic programs for the New York Military Army Command at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, NY, and the United States Army Europe Headquarters/Heidelberg Military Community in Heidelberg, Germany.
"Being able to bring to the Conference a proven and imaginative executive with outstanding hockey credentials like Joe to serve as our Director of Hockey Operations is tremendous for our members and for me personally," said Scherr. "The Conference's inaugural season begins in about 18 months and there are many tasks to complete in advance of dropping the first puck. I will be relying on Joe to ensure that everything relating to hockey operations will be the best in intercollegiate athletics."
Novak, who played ice hockey in semi-professional ranks and junior hockey in Germany and throughout Europe early in his career, says he is thrilled to become part of the new conference.
"I am grateful to Commissioner Scherr and the Conference members for this remarkable opportunity," said Novak. "This position is both a great challenge and a great opportunity and, with so much to do, I look forward to working closely with the Conference athletic directors and coaches and to getting to work."
About the National Collegiate Hockey Conference:
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference is the eight-school, Division I men's hockey conference that will start play in the 2013-14 season. The Conference's member institutions are: Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University. Since 2000, National Collegiate Hockey Conference teams include four NCAA National Champions, 14 NCAA Frozen Four appearances, 12 conference regular-season championships and 12 conference tournament championships. All eight members have been participants in the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship tournament at least once since 2010, including five teams in 2012.