Men’s Team USA Roller Derby Coaches Announced
USA Roller Sports is pleased to announce the new coaching staff for the official Men’s Roller Derby National Team: head coach, Chuck Hendrick and assistant coach, Val Capone. The team, recognized by USA Roller Sports, the US Olympic Committee and the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), will be representing the United States at the 2017 World Roller Games and other international FIRS-recognized competitions.
Chuck’s accomplishments have made him a household name in the skating world with over 22 years of competitive coaching and skating experience. With outstanding knowledge in USARS, WFTDA, and MRDA rulesets. Chuck now brings his years of success in speed skating and roller derby to Team USA.
Chuck began his skating career in 1994 with inline speed skating, where he earned several national placements and a national record. He also had great success as a coach, leading Everett Express Speed Team, Southgate Speed, and Auburn Speed Team in USARS speed skating - coaching several skaters to national champion titles.
In 2004, he made the switch to roller derby and became the first head coach of the Rat City Rollergirls travel team, leading them to first place at the regional tournament. He was also head coach of their home team the Sockit Wenches, where they earned a league championship.
In 2006-2012 Chuck coached the Dockyard Derby Dames travel team as well as their home team the Trampires, leading the later to an impressive 5 league championships in the 6 years he coached them.
In 2013, He was asked to coach Antagonist Roller Derby (now Northwest United). They took 3rd place at the USARS Roller Derby National Championships in 2013, 2nd place in 2014, and 3rd in 2015.
Last year in 2015 he was Assistant Coach for Team USA West - where they took first place in the first-ever Juniors World Championship tournament.
Chuck has been the Head Coach of the Jet City Rollergirls’ home team the Pink Pistols since 2013, who just decisively won the 2016 league championship. He is also the assistant coach for I-5 Rollergirls Junior Roller Derby, who took 2nd place in 2015 at the national tournament.
Not only has Chuck racked up a long list of coaching accomplishments among many disciplines, he has also had incredible success of his own as one of the founding members of MRDA Puget Sound Outcast Derby (formed in 2008). He leads the team as co-captain in this 2016 season, and did the same in 2009-2012 and 2014 as well. Chuck was on the Oly Warriors as a skater and helped the team to victory in the 2013 Men’s USARS Roller Derby National Championship.
“We are looking forward to bringing the gold medal for the USA in Men’s Roller Derby” says Chuck.
Val Capone is Chicago’s longest-skating roller derby athlete. A pioneer in Chicago's derby resurgence, she was one of the first Windy City Rollers recruited in 2004. Her resume includes 12 seasons with the Windy City Rollers, four seasons with her current team, the Chicago Red Hots, and a stint with Madison, Wisc.-based Team Unicorn, which took her to France in 2013 to compete against the Paris Rollergirls All-Stars, where she won game MVP.
In addition to skating, Capone is a coach, commentator and men's roller derby zealot. Her debut coaching endeavor was at the 2009 RollerCon with Team SeXY, the first official all-star men's team, which she still coaches. She went on to coach the Chicago Bruise Brothers, from 2012–2016 and Seattle, Wash. team Puget Sound Outcasts, who rose to fourth in MRDA rankings under her leadership, in 2014. In the same year, she was asked to join the USA team men’s coaching staff for the inaugural Roller Derby World Cup, where her team captured first place. Coaching also took her to Australia in 2012 to work with Adelaide Roller Derby.
Capone also served as senior analyst for Derby News Network and was voted the first-ever Announcer of the Year in 2009 by roller derby fans worldwide. She announced the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup in 2011 and 2014, as well as the world premiere of Drew Barrymore's 2009 film "Whip It" at the Toronto International Film Festival before a crowd of nearly 9,000 attendees. (She also thanks Barrymore and 'Whip It' for giving her the opportunity to sing the Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field in 2009).
“I am excited and honored to have the privilege of sharing the sport of roller derby with the world as Men’s Team USA assistant coach at the World Roller Games in 2017.” says Val.
Along with the newly announced members of the Women’s Team USA, the Men’s team will also have the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2017 World Roller Games, a spectacular event gathering for the first time in one city the world championships of ten roller disciplines: artistic, speed, rink hockey, inline hockey, roller freestyle, skateboarding, inline freestyle, inline downhill, roller derby and inline alpine. The event, organized by FIRS, will be hosted by the city of Nanjing, China during the summer of 2017 and will be broadcasted on television and online, featuring more than 40,000 athletes at several venues, including the 10,000-seat Olympic Stadium and the biggest Asian indoor stadium – 20,000 seats – in the Olympic Park. Tryouts will be announced soon.
Please join us in congratulating Chuck and Val on the next step of this historic achievement and milestone in Men’s roller derby.
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USA Roller Sports (USARS) is recognized by the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the national governing body for competitive roller sports in the United States. USARS is dedicated to creating, enhancing and conducting the best competitions and programs for roller sports. We instill the drive to win and be the absolute best in sports and in life.