Tragedy in the college hockey world on Tuesday as Merrimack College announced that assistant coach Josh Ciocco passed away suddenly at the age of 38.
Ciocco had been involved in the world of college hockey for a long time. He played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire from 2003-2007, helping the Wildcats make the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons. Though he was never a huge scorer at the college level, Ciocco made an impact in other ways as a smart two-way forward. He served as captain of Wildcats in his senior season, with New Hampshire winning the Hockey East regular season title that year.
After one full season of pro hockey, Ciocco moved into the coaching. In 2013-2014, Ciocco was hired as an assistant coach at Alaska-Anchorage, and that season, the Seawolves would go on to post their only winning record while members of a D-I conference in school history. After three seasons in Anchorage, Ciocco moved back east and worked two years as an assistant coach at Brown. From there, Ciocco moved to Merrimack, where he was assistant for the Warriors for five seasons.
Ciocco was known as an excellent evaluator of talent and recruiter, despite working in some pretty challenging situations, and his wide-range of experience gave him connections throughout the world of hockey.