Merrimack College has announced the death of assistant hockey coach Josh Ciocco, who has died suddenly at the age of 38.

The death of the former UNH hockey captain, who played the sport for years before becoming a coach, was confirmed on Tuesday, October 4.

Fellow hockey players and fans have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and share emotional tributes to Ciocco.

Merrimack announces Josh Ciocco’s death at 38

Merrimack assistant hockey coach Josh Ciocco has died at the age of 38, Merrimack College Athletics announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement read: “The Merrimack community and men’s hockey program are deeply saddened by the passing of assistant coach Josh Ciocco.

“Josh was entering his fifth season with the Warriors and was tireless in recruiting talented and dedicated student-athletes to Merrimack, and equally passionate in his commitment to coaching them to reach their greatest potential.”

A cause or time of death had yet to be announced at the time of writing.

His education and career

Ciocco had worked as an assistant coach at Merrimack College for the past four seasons. He previously served as assistant coach at Alaska-Anchorage from 2013 to 2014.

Before his coaching jobs, he played for the Spruce Kings from 2000 to 2002. Ciocco then played for the Silverbacks during the 2002/03 season before going to the University of New Hampshire to study political science.

He spent four seasons with the university’s college team from 2003 to 2007. and was part of Wheeling and Fresno during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. He has also played for Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Ciocco had held the position as assistant coach at Merrimack College since the 2018/19 season.

Tributes to Josh Ciocco

The hockey community is mourning the passing of Josh Ciocco and many who knew the hockey player and coach have left touching tributes on social media.

Matt Quinn wrote: “I am extremely saddened to learn of the passing of my former teammate Josh Ciocco this morning at the age of 38 years old, gone too soon. I want to pass my condolences along to Josh’s family and friends. He will be missed.”

Liam Walsh tweeted: “My heart is with all of my Merrimack family today in mourning the loss of Coach Ciocco. He was a special coach, mentor and friend. Please keep Josh and his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

Mike McMahon wrote in another tribute: “Very sorry to hear this morning that Merrimack assistant coach Josh Ciocco passed away suddenly yesterday at the age of 38. My thoughts are with Josh’s family, as well as his hockey family within the Merrimack and UNH programs where he was an alum.”

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