Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chris Serino 1949-2012

Former Merrimack College head coach and University of New Hampshire assistant coach Chris Serino passed away on Monday after a long battle with throat cancer, according to USCHO.com and other published sources.

The hockey coach and athletic director at Malden Catholic High School at the time of his passing, Serino, 63, is survived by his wife, Robin, and their five sons. He also served as hockey coach at Northfield Mount Hermon in his career before going to the college ranks, and had previous scholastic coaching stints at both Salem High and Saugus High.

"The thoughts and prayers of the Merrimack College Hockey Program go out to Coach Serino's family," head coach Mark Dennehy said in a statement on the Merrimack athletics web site. "Anyone who knew Coach Serino understood the passion and fight with which he coached. He will be missed."

A native of Saugus, Mass., and a 1971 graduate of American International College, where he played football, hockey and baseball, Serino coached hockey at Merrimack from 1999 to 2005, fashioning a 77-150-27 record and six appearances in the Hockey East tournament. He previously served as head baseball coach at UNH, and led the Wildcats to a school-record 26 wins in 1995. UNH no longer fields an intercollegiate varsity baseball team.

"He was a great guy and a great coach," said UNH head hockey coach Dick Umile of Serino, who was on Umile's staff from 1991 to 1998. "He was a tremendous athlete and a personal friend of mine; I go way back with him. The fans, the Friends of UNH Hockey, he really got along with the community. He fought a courageous battle with cancer and it came back in the last year-and-a half and really had a battle with it."

After leaving Merrimack, Serino coached  at Malden Catholic from 2005 to 2012, and guided the Lancers to their first-ever Super 8 Championships in both 2011 and 2012. He also coached two of his five sons during his tenure, in which he compiled a 95-32-18 overall mark at the school in Malden, Mass.

Serino will be remembered at UNH's Hockey East opener on Oct. 20 against Boston University, and again at Merrimack's home opener on Oct. 26 against Vermont.

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