Houston Leaves a Legacy of College Hockey Success at Adrian
After ending his NCAA hockey career last weekend one goal short of a National Championship, Chatham’s Brad Houston knows life is about to change, but the memories of his Adrian College Bulldogs team are here to stay.
The 6’1″ senior is graduating with a degree in Business Administration-Management. As a member of Adrian College’s first ever graduating class, Houston sits near the top of Adrian’s All-Time scoring list with more than 150 points in his 4-seasons. Despite the 4-3 loss to St. Norbert in the National Championship game, Houston says his trip to the National tournament was one of the highlights of his college hockey career,
“After four years of hard work, it was nice to finally get the chance to play in games that not a lot of people can say they have played in. It was a great experience that I’ll never forget even though the outcome was not in our favour.”
For Houston and the 15 other seniors on his Adrian Bulldogs team, the loss marks an abrupt change in their lives. From hours each week at the rink, in the gym, and travelling across the country, these players are now moving on to exams and then careers. Despite this exciting time in their lives, Houston says the sour taste of their defeat will linger long after graduation day,
“I think the realization of our careers being over was the first thing to hit alot of the seniors. To go all that way and end up one goal short was devastating, and it will take some time before that feeling goes away.”
Still, from an upstart hockey program in its first season of existance four short years ago, to a National Championship appearance, Adrian College’s rapid rise to the top is an accomplishment that few hockey players will get to experience.
“From day one our coach Ron Fogarty told us that we will win,” said Houston when asked about his choice to play for Adrian, and the accomplishments the program has had in such a short time. “We put all faith in that and after four straight MCHA regular season and playoff championships, it seems that he was right. We couldn’t have asked for anything more from him.”
Now that the hockey season is over for Houston, he is focusing on completing his studies, without worrying about what’s next in the hockey world for him, “Right now I’m just concentrating on finishing up school and getting ready to graduate. Our coaches have had some teams contact them looking for players for next year, but at this point nothing is set in stone.”
As they leave their on ice careers, many college and junior hockey players, including Chatham’s Brad Houston, often miss the family-like atmosphere, as well as the competition of the game they experienced with their teams. When asked what he would miss most about Adrian and college hockey, Houston had this to say,
“I think the thing I will miss most about NCAA hockey is the competition. Every night you played you were facing someone that wanted to beat you just as bad as you wanted to beat them. My time at Adrian, I think it would be the dressing room and hanging out with the guys. We’ve grown so close over the years and its going to be hard to leave.”
Whether it’s using the lessons he learned on the ice as a Bulldog, or in a business classroom at Adrian College, Houston seems well equipped for the unique challenges that will unfold as he enters a new chapter in life. As for his old chapter? As sixteen new Adrian College Bulldogs suit up next season for the school to replace their exiting seniors, and as a fresh young face undoubtedly dons Houston’s #10, one thing is for sure, they will have some huge shoes to fill.