Franklin Pierce coach Marshall, former UConn leader, dies at 54

Bruce Marshall coached Connecticut from 1988 to 2013 (photo: UConn Athletics).

Franklin Pierce coach Bruce Marshall, who led Connecticut from 1988 to 2013, died in his sleep early Saturday morning. He was 54.

The cause of death had not been determined Sunday, according to a release by the Franklin Pierce athletic department. An autopsy was planned.

Marshall played at UConn before taking over as the program’s third head coach. In 25 seasons, he transformed the program from the Division III level to Division I and laid the groundwork for the team’s move to Hockey East in 2014.

“I knew Bruce for 25 years and saw his passion for the game and coaching,” said Mike Cavanaugh, who replaced Marshall on a full-time basis in 2013. “He was a great mentor for many young men who came to Storrs and wore a UConn jersey. His passing is a loss for UConn and the entire hockey community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marshall family.”

Marshall took a medical leave of absence from UConn in November 2012 and resigned two months later.

He later said a divorce and alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his decision to resign.

In 2015, Franklin Pierce hired Marshall as its head coach. He was 4-15-3 in his only season with the Ravens.

“Bruce was a great friend, mentor and colleague in his time at Pierce,” Ravens women’s hockey coach David Stockdale said. “I learned a great deal from him and enjoyed interacting with him every day. He was supportive of our entire department and was usually the first guy to call or text his congrats after a win, or his support after a rough day.”

Born July 23, 1962, in West Boylan, Mass., Marshall was a four-year letterwinner for the Huskies. He was a co-captain as a senior in 1984-85, when UConn went 14-10 and earned the school’s first ECAC playoff berth.

After being named the Huskies’ coach in 1988, he guided the program through a move to Division I and the MAAC in 1998.