MIDDLETOWN – Xavier on Thursday removed hockey coach Nick Costanzo in the middle of his first season with the Falcons.
School officials would not comment beyond a brief statement announcing Costanzo’s departure.
“Xavier High School thanks coach Costanzo for his work with the program,” the statement read.
Assistant coaches Kyle Heins and Rick Longobardi will run the Falcons as co-head coaches for the remainder of the season. Heins and Longobardi oversaw Thursday’s practice, which was held shortly after the decision was made to replace Costanzo.
Matthew Conyers, Xavier’s director of communications, said the direction of the program will be evaluated after the season. There will be no coaching changes made to the junior varsity program.
Costanzo’s last game as coach came Wednesday, a 2-1 overtime loss to Notre Dame of West Haven at Wesleyan’s Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
The Falcons have struggled on the ice under Costanzo, scoring only 13 goals in 10 games and posting a 2-8 record, with no wins against Connecticut teams.
Their winning percentage through Thursday ranked next-to-last among the 15 teams in CIAC Division I play. Xavier started the season tied for 5th in the GameTimeCT.com preseason Top 10 poll after going 15-8 last season.
Before getting the job at Xavier, Costanzo was the head coach at North Haven High, where he also played the sport. He previously worked at Yale as a volunteer assistant coach for three seasons and had been a well-traveled youth coach.
Costanzo succeeded Dan DeConti, who stepped down last March in order to spend more time with his young family.
DeConti, a former Xavier player who holds the school’s single-season scoring record, was 67-34-6 in his five seasons and led the program to state tournament semifinal appearances in 2015 and last season. At the time of DeConti’s departure, athletic director Tony Jaskot credited him for putting Xavier “on the map in hockey.”
As assistants, Longobardi was responsible for coaching the backs and the power play, Heins the forwards and penalty kill. The two were assistants under Costanzo at North Haven.
Longobardi played varsity hockey at Avon Old Farms and later at Hobart. Heins graduated from North Branford and has degrees from Sacred Heart and Southern Connecticut State.
Xavier returns to the ice Monday when it visits Greenwich. The Falcons return home Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game against Fairfield Prep at Wesleyan’s rink.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Xavier’s current record. It is 2-8 over 10 games.