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Robert Morris celebrates hockey success in style — with bobblehead of coach

| Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, 4:29 p.m.

Derek Schooley transformed men's hockey at Robert Morris from a club team to a competitive Division I program. The only coach in their 12-year history, he led the Colonials to the 2014 Atlantic Hockey championship and the Three Rivers Classic title last month with wins over nationally ranked Penn State and Massachusetts-Lowell. This season, RMU is the second-highest goal-scoring team in the nation.

You couldn't blame Schooley if he had a big head.

Actually, he has a big bobblehead, and it is available to the first 500 fans at Saturday's game against Bentley at 84 Lumber Arena. Gates open at 6 p.m.

“I think it looks maybe like a younger me,” Schooley said. “Maybe 10 years ago it looks like me.”

No matter. Schooley said he is honored “to be held in the esteem” of other Robert Morris coaches immortalized by the bobblehead treatment: Joe Walton and John Banaszak (football), and Andy Toole (men's basketball).

Past men's hockey giveaways have included pucks, knit hats and replicas of the 2014 championship ring. Replica jerseys will be handed out later this month.

“Derek's great,” senior associate athletic director Marty Galosi said. “He's not just a coach who says, ‘Let me coach.' He gets the whole picture. Stuff like that is not lost on him.”

“We're doing a lot to promote hockey at Robert Morris,” Schooley said. “We think we have an excellent product, and we want to make sure people know we're out there, and if it takes me being a bobblehead, so be it.”

Bob Cohn is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bcohn@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCohn_Trib.

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