Last month, it was announced that Alaska’s two division I hockey programs could be on the chopping block due to budget issues. This put athletic programs at both universities under extra scrutiny. Now, assistant coach Jose Ciocco has left Alaska Anchorage to become an assistant coach at Brown University, the school announced last Wednesday.
Josh Ciocco will be the new @BrownMensHockey assistant coach. Ex-UNH captain has been an assistant at Alaska-Anchorage since 2013.
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) September 13, 2016
Ciocco’s leaving comes at a bad time for the Seawolves; they start their preseason in less than two weeks against Simon Fraser University.
“This was a difficult decision for me because I put in a lot of work in at UAA and I know we are in the process of turning a corner,” said Ciocco. “I really wanted to be a part of that. I have a lot of confidence in our current group and know that it is going to be a fun year.”
“At the end of the day, I have an opportunity to work at an Ivy League school, with great coaches, and to be where I want to be geographically,” said Ciocco.
Ciocco played under Seawolves head coach Matt Thomas when he was a member of the Wheeling Nailers from 2006-07. Ciocco followed coach Thomas to Anchorage shortly after he took the Seawolves head coaching position. During his time at UAA, Ciocco was also in charge of recruiting. All things aside, Coach Thomas is supportive of Ciocco’s decision.
“Josh has been an important part of our staff over the last three years,” said Thomas. “His tireless work ethic and commitment to recruiting student-athletes to UAA has been exemplary. The opportunity to move on to this new endeavor at an Ivy League institution and near his family was important in the decision. I know he struggled with the timing but ultimately this is part of the business in coaching. We wish him well and thank him for his contributions.”
Ciocco played collegiately from 2003-07 at the University New Hampshire. In four seasons with the Wildcats, he scored 22 goals and 55 points and was a plus-eight. After college, Ciocco played two seasons of professional hockey with the Wheeling Nailers (2006-07) and the Fresno Falcons (2007-08) of the ECHL.