Utica, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College men's hockey team announced Thursday that former American League Hockey player Cody Chupp will join the Pioneers as the top assistant coach on the bench this season.
Chupp will assist Head Coach Gary Heenan with all facets of the program. His duties will include scouting, recruiting, and practice/game preparation, along with day-to-day operations in the office.
Chupp takes over for former assistant Juliano Pagliero, who accepted a position as an assistant coach at Division I College of Holy Cross.
"Cody brings a wealth of professional and collegiate hockey playing experience to the bench and we could not be more excited to have him join the Utica College family," said Heenan, who guided the Pioneers to their first NCAA Division III Frozen Four last season. "He knows what it takes to be a well-rounded student-athlete and I think his personality and knowledge will really resonate with our players."
Chupp brings several years of experience to the team as an instructor and professional hockey player. He recently joined the UC staff after playing professionally from 2010-2013. During his tenure in the American Hockey League, he played for the Texas Stars (affiliate of the NHL's Dallas Stars) in Cedar Park, Texas from March 2010-May 2011.
He played in 67 career games for Texas, totaling five goals and ten assists for a total of 15 points.
At the beginning of the 2011 season he joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (affiliate of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins) where he played for 15 games and totaled five points.
He wrapped up his professional career in the East Coast Hockey League where he played 63 games over the course of two seasons for the Wheeling Nailers.
In his first season with the Nailers he finished sixth on the team with 34 total points (17 goals, 17 assists).
In his collegiate playing days he attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan where he focused on Integrative Studies from Oct. 2006 until April 2010. During his time at Division I Ferris State (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) he was an intricate part of the men's hockey program.
He was one of only two players in school history to receive the distinction of being named a two-year captain and he was on the Hobey Baker Watch List in 2007-08, as one of the top players in the country to watch. He was named the program's Rookie of the Year in the 2006-07 season and he received the team's Lloyd Earl Award as the Bulldog's leading scorer (2007-08).
Over the course of 144 career games at Ferris State he totaled 95 career points (35 goals, 60 assists).
Off the ice, Chupp consistently exhibited the positive traits that earned him captain distinction. He was the first-ever Ferris State Student-Athlete to attend the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Conference in Orlando, Florida (2007) and he also was the inaugural winner of the Ferris State men's ice hockey team Community Service Award (2007-08).
He was a nominee for the AHCA 2009 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, a 2009-10 NCAA Division I Lowes Senior CLASS Award top 10 Finalist, and was the team ambassador and leader of the "Reading is Fun" project.
Chupp was also a consummate professional in the classroom, earning the Dean's Academic Award twice. Chupp also gave his time and efforts as a Summer Hockey Camp Instructor at Ferris State University. He ran and assisted with on ice instruction and drills and was also responsible for individual video skating review and break down of skating stride essentials.
Originally from Big Rapids, Michigan, Cody is currently residing in Utica, NY where he will pursue his Master's Degree at UC.