Serino Steps Down at Merrimack
Chris Serino has stepped down as head coach and interim athletic director at Merrimack, school president Richard J. Santagati announced Friday afternoon. Serino will become the athletic director and head ice hockey coach at Malden Catholic High School in Malden, Mass., and Merrimack will begin a search to fill his two vacated positions.
Merrimack never finished higher than seventh-place in Hockey East during Serino's seven-year tenure, and this season's 1-22-1 finish was the worst conference record in Hockey East history. Serino's record at Merrimack was 78-149-27, and he had served as interim athletic director since 2002.
"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."
The move comes amid reports – which Serino has denied – that the Merrimack players united to express their displeasure with their coach following the season. Serino was not immediately available for comment on Friday and had not returned a voice mail message left earlier this week.
Despite the on-ice struggles, Serino's gregarious nature earned him many allies in the sport and he received an outpouring of support during his successful battle with throat cancer during the 2001-02 season.
The Warriors lose only one senior who played in at least 30 of the team's 36 games in 2004-05, giving the new coach an experienced lineup with which to work. Leading the way is defenseman Bryan Schmidt, who will be a senior in the fall. A second-team All-Hockey East selection last season, he led the Warriors in goals and points with 13-1831.