Rob Bryden, Jim Culhane and Bill Neal Inducted Into WMU Hockey Ring of Honor
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Western Michigan hockey program is proud to induct Rob Bryden, Jim Culhane and Bill Neal to its Ring of Honor on Saturday afternoon.
The ceremony took place at The Moors Golf Club in Portage, Mich., as part of the annual WMU Hockey Friends & Alumni Weekend. Both Bryden and Culhane were inducted as players, while Neal was inducted for his contributions as a coach and a builder.
Bryden played from 1983-87, appearing in 162 games and scoring 104 goals with 91 assists for 195 points. His point total is the seventh-most all-time in program history and his 104 goals are the third-most in program history. Coming to WMU from Toronto, Ontario helped the Broncos claim their first Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament Championship and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth in 1986. Bryden was also named Second Team All-CCHA for the 1986-87 season, in which he served as assistant captain.
Culhane also helped Western Michigan to its CCHA Championship and also appeared in 162 career games. As a hard-nosed defenseman he netted 13 goals and 67 assists for 80 points. After his first season in 1983-84 he was selected in the 11th round of the NHL Draft by the Hartford Whalers. He made his NHL debut with the Whalers in 1989, two seasons after graduating from Western Michigan. Culhane later coached the Broncos to 155 wins in 11 seasons.
Neal was the first varsity head coach for the WMU Hockey program and helped ushered it into the Division I era. In his first two seasons, at the Division II level, he racked up a record of 41-15-1. He then coached three seasons with the Broncos as they entered Division I hockey in 1975, going 50-50-4 before leaving the program with 91 wins under his belt.