Vernon Vipers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks alum dies at 38

Josh Ciocco had been an assistant coach the past five years with Merrimack College in Massachusetts

Josh Ciocco played in the B.C. Hockey League with four teams, including the Vernon Vipers and Salmon Arm Silverbacks, in the early 2000s. His death at age 38 was announced by Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. Tuesday, Oct. 4. Ciocco had been an assistant coach with the Warriors for the past five seasons. (@VernonVipers photo)

Josh Ciocco played in the B.C. Hockey League with four teams, including the Vernon Vipers and Salmon Arm Silverbacks, in the early 2000s. His death at age 38 was announced by Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. Tuesday, Oct. 4. Ciocco had been an assistant coach with the Warriors for the past five seasons. (@VernonVipers photo)

A B.C. Hockey League alumnus is being mourned by the hockey community following his sudden passing.

The death of Josh Ciocco, an assistant coach with the Merrimack College Warriors in North Andover, Mass., was announced by the school Tuesday, Oct. 4. He was 38.

Ciocco played in the BCHL for the Vernon Vipers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Cowichan Valley Capitals and Prince George Spruce Kings.

He 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.

“Our prayers and deepest condolences are extended to Josh’s parents, brothers and all members of the Merrimack men’s hockey team and coaching staff,” said Merrimack president Christopher E. Hopey on the team’s website.

Ciocco began his BCHL career in Prince George in the 2000-01 season, and joined the Vernon Vipers at the league trade deadline in 2001-02.

The native of Atco, NJ spent the 2002-03 season with Vernon, Cowichan and Salmon Arm, scoring 38 goals and adding 43 assists in 57 games played.

His career BCHL regular-season numbers include 59 goals and 81 assists for 140 points in 103 games played.

Prior to arriving at Merrimack, Ciocco served as an assistant coach at Brown University and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Josh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2007 from the University of New Hampshire where he was a four-year member of the hockey program after leaving the BCHL, captaining the Wildcats in his senior season.

He returned to UNH in 2010 to earn his MBA after competing for two seasons in the East Coast Hockey League with the Wheeling Nailers and Fresno Falcons.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers win first game, lose two players

READ MORE: Late rally lifts Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Wild


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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