SCHENECTADY — Union hockey senior forward Josh Kosack has made an impact on and off the ice during his time at the school.
That impact was recognized on Thursday. Kosack was named the winner of the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year. He becomes the fourth Dutchmen to win the award, and the first since Stephane Boileau in 2011. Other Union winners are Olivier Bouchard in 2007, the first year of the award, and Matt Cook in 2009.
“I’m very honored,” Kosack said. “It means a lot. I’m very appreciative of all the help from the Union staff and the Union community and all my professors over the past four years.”
On the ice, Kosack served as the Dutchmen’s captain this season and helped the team reach the ECACH tournament quarterfinals this season. Off the ice, Kosak’s “Kozi’s Kids” initiative has helped bring dozens of kids to Union games, while his other charitable efforts have continued to assist the area’s youth.
This season, Kosack helped raise $45,000 for improvements to the COCOA House in Schenectady. The improvements include a room that will be for entrepreneurship-based activities with access to resources and mentors in the business industry, and another room that will be more of a lounge area for teens to hang out.
Kosack, who took last year off from school in order that he could play his senior year this season, is proud of what he has accomplished in his charitable efforts.
“That was one of the biggest reasons for me to come back was my involvement with the COCOA House,” said Kosack, who won the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award last year. “That’s something I’ll keep with me the rest of my life and continue to give back in any way that I can. The impact they’ve had on my life has been unbelievable.”
Union interim head coach John Ronan said Kosack is worthy of the honor.
“[I’m] incredibly proud of him for the work he has done in the classroom, on the ice and in the community,” Ronan said. “He has been a fantastic leader and ambassador for our program, and I am hopeful that more accolades come his way.”
That could happen in April. Kosack is a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for the second year in a row. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 8, at the Frozen Four in Boston.
Kosack said he won’t be looking to extend his hockey career in the minor pros. He has a job lined up in real estate in California.