NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Chris Serino made it official today, resigning from his position as head coach and athletic director at Merrimack. He will accept the same positions at Malden (Mass.) Catholic High School.
There were reports earlier in the month that Serino was asked to step down by unanimous request of his players, after a season filled with losing and the inevitable discontent. Serino later denied word of a player “revolt.” He could not be reached for comment today.
Merrimack was 8-26-2 this season, and 1-22-1 in Hockey East. In seven years, Serino was 78-149-27 at Merrimack.
Serino led Merrimack hockey for seven years, and served as interim athletic director since 2002. He joined Merrimack in April 1998, becoming the sixth coach in the 44-year history of the hockey program.
Possible successors include a trio of prominent alumni, Andy Heinze, Mike Doneghey and Bobby Jay. Heinze played at Merrimack until 1990, and was an assistant coach there through 1999. Doneghey is a 1993 graduate of Merrimack, and was the assistant coach there from 1999 until the end of this past season. Bobby Jay left Merrimack after 1988, and fashioned a playing a coaching career in the high minors. He returned to the college ranks for the first time this past season, as an assistant to Harvard’s Ted Donato.
Merrimack president Richard Santagati had nothing but good things to say about Serino upon the announcement.
“Chris Serino has made many strong and significant contributions to Merrimack College and its hockey program,” said Santagati. “He has coached and mentored many of our student-athletes, instilling in them the value of education and community service that Merrimack stands for. We have been fortunate to have him as a member of the Merrimack community for the past seven years. We wish him all the luck in the world as he moves on to this new endeavor.”
Serino had been instrumental in raising funds for renovations to the team’s arena.
Serino, a former three-sport All-Scholastic (football, hockey and baseball) at Saugus (Mass.) High School, came to Merrimack after seven seasons at New Hampshire. He served at UNH as an assistant hockey and head baseball coach. Prior to that, Serino spent three seasons as the head coach for the Northfield Mount Hermon hockey program.