Cucci is entering his fifth season at the helm of the Lions in 2012-13. The 2009-11 seasons were admittedly rebuilding years for the first time coach, however they paid off with a GNCHC league championship in 2011-12. After a top notch recruiting class entered TCNJ in the Fall of 2012, Coach Cucci is now confident that Lions can compete for another league champiosnhip, as well as a spot in the ACHA regionals.
Coach Cucci came to TCNJ after playing 4 years of NCAA D-I hockey at Bentley University in Waltham, MA and in March 2008 was signed to a short-term contract by the Trenton Devils of the ECHL.
While on a hockey scholarship at Bentley he twice made the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team and finished his career at 4th on the program’s All-Time Games Played list with 128. Cucci, known for his leadership on and off the ice and as a stay-at-home defenseman, was, according to his coach, the Falcons’ hardest working player, notching 1 goal and 14 assists during his NCAA career.
Originally from Glen Ridge, NJ, Cucci played prep school hockey at the prestigious Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT, under legendary coach John Gardner. While at Avon, Cucci was a 2-year captain, All-Founders league selection, won the Division 1 New England Prep School Championship, was a two-time winner of the Brian Leetch Award as Avon’s Top Defenseman, and was honored as Connecticut’s Top Defenseman by Hockey Night in Boston.
He played his travel hockey for the NJ Devils Youth program and one year of New Jersey high school hockey where he was on a state championship team with Hudson Catholic High School and was voted hockey “Newcomer of the Year” by the Newark Star-Ledger. Cucci was also selected for the 2002 Atlantic District Select 17 Team, where he led all defensemen in scoring at the USA Hockey Select 17 Festival.
His previous coaching experience includes 3 years as an instructor and trainer at the Rob Barletta Hockey School in Massachusetts and as a volunteer coach with the Connecticut Chasers Hockey program for developmentally challenged children.
“I am both extremely excited and honored to be joining the TCNJ Hockey Program as well as the TCNJ community. I look forward to the season and yet another successful year for the TCNJ Hockey Program,” says Cucci. Cucci holds a B.S. in Business from Bentley University and currently resides in Belmar, NJ.