Joe DeRoeve has been named the head hockey coach of the Pope John XXIII High School boys hockey team.
Athletic Director Shawn Thornton made the announcement at a press conference Friday that DeRoeve will be leading the program that will also include a cooperative arrangement with Malden High School. Since 2008 Pope John has had a cooperative arrangement with St. Clement of Somerville.
“I’m excited to be at Pope John and to have the Malden players working with us as well,” said DeRoeve, who resides in Charlestown with his wife and two young children. “I look forward to starting a program at Pope John and setting a foundation for the future.”
DeRoeve, 38, has been the coach in the Massachusetts U-18 and U-16 Tier 1 select program for the past ten years. He was an assistant coach at Medford High School for two years. He played hockey at Malden Catholic from 1989 to 1992 and at Stonehill College from 1992 to 1996.
By day, DeRoeve is a full-time global systems manager for a downtown Boston investment firm.
The new mentor is confident that he can build a winning program at Pope John. “We’re trying to get a handle on how many players we’re going to have. But I’ve already told the returning players that they will be pushed to compete but first and foremost they have to be committed to their family and school and then hockey. The winning is not necessarily the essential part of this, but hockey being an extension of their education is. The wins and losses will come but the commitment to the student athletes’ character and development at Pope John is the focus of what we’re trying to do.”
Pope John will compete in the Catholic Central Small League with Lowell Catholic, St. Bernard’s, St. Joseph Academy, and Marian. The team’s home venue will be the Porrazzo Skating Rink in East Boston. Joseph Hurley and Tommy DeRosa will be the assistant coaches on the Pope John staff.
“I feel our school has hired a great coach,” said Thornton. “Our short-term goal is to get the numbers up there and then be a competitive program in the league and Division 3 in years to come. As long as we can graduate these players in to successful men, that’s the long-term goal and I think that can be achieved.”
Pope John hockey players Brendan Woodworth, a junior, and Michael DeRosa, a senior, welcomed DeRoeve to the school.
“I’m really excited about next season,” said Woodworth. “Mr. DeRoeve seems like a really nice guy and I think we’ll have a fun season next year.”
“I’m enthusiastic about the new leadership because last year wasn’t really our best year,” said DeRosa. “I’m happy we’re getting a hockey program at Pope John because this is what we’ve been striving for awhile to do. I look forward to playing hockey for our new coach.”