To say becoming a St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) student and playing for the St. Michael’s Buzzers Jr. A hockey team was always part of the plan may be an understatement. For Jared Coccimiglio, it was a dream come true.
Now, the Grade 12 student-athlete can add a full commitment to the University of Maine to his promising career.
“I enrolled at St. Mike’s in 2020 for my Grade 11 year because I knew what an amazing environment it was to challenge myself as a student and grow to become a better person,” says Coccimiglio. “SMCS has not only challenged me academically, but it has also provided me with a great social space to help me push beyond my limits and build relationships with my classmates. I’ve wanted this opportunity since I was a little kid.”
The Oakville resident has had a journey filled with many experiences that have led him to where he is today.
In Grade 8 while attending James W. Hill Elementary School in Oakville, Coccimiglio’s young hockey career would see him play competitive AAA hockey in Richmond Hill led by coach Chris De Piero ’87, current SMCS Associate Director of Admissions.
Grade 9 took Coccimiglio to Sault Ste. Marie, the hometown of his mom and Dad, Joe, a long-time science teacher at SMCS, to attend Algoma District School Board Hockey Academy while living with his grandparents.
“I believe that year was instrumental in taking my character and my development as a hockey player to the next level,” he says. “My coaches were instrumental in preparing me for my minor midget season and far beyond.”
Coccimiglio returned to Oakville in Grade 10, attending Holy Trinity High School and playing AAA minor midget in Richmond Hill, this time for Michael De Pellegrin ’94, the school’s Director of Communications.
“Throughout these years, I was introduced to the SMCS way well before I became a student at St. Michael’s,” says Coccimiglio. “Having a St. Mike’s influence on my hockey career before I became a student has helped me push myself to be better every day. The culture that helps prepare students for the next level was brought to the rink by Mr. De Piero and Mr. De Pellegrin every day.”
At the end of Coccimiglio’s Grade 10 year, he was drafted in the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Priority Selection in the 10th Round by the Owen Sound Attack. However, he decided to pursue NCAA hockey and play for the St. Michael’s Jr. A team.
“I feel that the NCAA route is the best path for me to develop as a hockey player and academically,” he says. “Playing for the Buzzers and Coach Ricci is a surreal feeling, a team and coach I grew up admiring.”
Coccimiglio finished Grade 11 as an honour roll student, a Basilian Book Award recipient (honouring students who attain an average of 90% or greater), and with his first season of Jr. A hockey under his belt, albeit interrupted by the pandemic.
Leading up to his Grade 12 year, and his second season with the Buzzers, Coccimiglio was recruited by the coaching staff at the University of Maine.
“The moment I started talking to the coaching staff and Head Coach Ben Barr, I knew I wanted to be a part of the culture that they have and are going to build,” says Coccimiglio. “The coaching staff believe in me as a player and a person, and that’s all I can ask for. It is such an honour to have a full commitment at the University of Maine.”
Coccimiglio will be officially signing his National Letter of Intent to the University of Maine in November and plans to pursue a degree in business with a focus on sports management.
“After taking the St. Mike’s sports marketing course this past summer with Dr. Lumsden ’97, I definitely felt that I wanted to continue exploring that avenue of study.
“SMCS has prepared me very well for university. One of the key things I have learned is to balance my life as a student-athlete by setting goals and planning out how to achieve them,” he says. “Creating a plan and being proactive has been the key to reaching my goals.”