Written by Maura Sun
(SHENZHEN/TORONTO – June 12, 2018) Bob Deraney has been unveiled as the Kunlun Red Star’s new head coach, as announced by Kunlun on Saturday, June 9, 2018. He arrived in Shenzhen, China earlier this month bringing with him 29 years of coaching experience.
“Deraney is a very professional and outstanding coach with a big picture plan,” said Monna Ao, the Chairman of HC Shenzhen Kunlun Red Star. “He quickly emerged as the top candidate. He has long and deep experiences in coaching, recruiting and player development at both the collegiate and national level. More importantly, he understands what the team really needs. I am confident that Deraney is a coach who will help develop Chinese players and scout more talent. I have full faith in Deraney that he will drive our team to a higher level of excellence.”
Monna also appreciated the effort of former coach Digit Murphy who has taken a position on the Kunlun Red Star International Advisory Board. Murphy will continue to play an active role as the board member.
“Bob has demonstrated over the course of his career what it takes to be successful,” said Rob Morgan, currently the Sport Director of Kunlun. “His body of work speaks for itself both within the NCAA and internationally with Team USA. We are excited to have Coach Deraney as our new head coach of Kunlun Red Star.”
The 52-year-old Deraney joins the KRS staff after leaving the Providence Friars women’s ice hockey team at the end of 2017-2018 season, having served as head coach for 19 years. Over those 19 seasons, Deraney posted a 319-288-73 mark, including a 17-13-7 overall mark during the 2017-18 season. He was named the Women’s Hockey East Association (WHEA) Coach of the Year three times (2010, 2011 and 2017) and has led Providence to three Hockey East tournament titles, three Hockey East regular season titles and one ECAC tournament championship.
Before Providence, Deraney spent five seasons as the assistant coach for the men’s team at the University of Massachusetts, dealing with recruiting, administrating, and video analysis, while also overseeing the team’s defence and goalies.
In addition to his coaching duties at the collegiate level, Deraney has coached at different levels with USA Hockey. He is the coach and advisor for USA 2018 gold medal women’s Olympic team selection camp. In 2016, Deraney was named the head coach for the USA women’s U22 team. He was on the coaching staff for the 2015 USA women’s national team that won the gold medal over Canada at the IIHF World Championship.
“I am very excited about this incredible opportunity,” said Deraney. “Kunlun Red Star, in my opinion, has the potential to be the best women’s professional hockey organization in the world on and off the ice. I want to be a part of that and contribute to that becoming a reality. I knew that China was very competitive in international hockey in the late 1990’s and early 2000s. I took this job to bring Chinese Hockey back to prominence on the international stage and help it reach new heights in China and on the international stage.”
Deraney understands the struggle of the team and believes the plan to add more talent to Kunlun and the national team is extremely important.
“My plan is to grow the game and the player pool in China by promoting and marketing the game of women’s ice hockey domestically and abroad,” said Deraney, who knows that Kunlun relied heavily on their non-Chinese players during last year’s CWHL campaign.
“Player development and elite player identification will be at our core. Winning games, championships, and medals is our main goal. I want to get a thorough understanding of the abilities of all the players in our player pool, so we can put the best players in the best positions possible for them to succeed individually and for us to achieve as a team and organization as quickly as possible. I plan to use all means available to become as knowledgeable as I can about our players and the player pool and look forward to getting to work on that immediately.”