“Bob did an incredible job for our university and athletic program during his two years with the Lancers” said Mudd. “His experience and expertise in developing the college aged student-athlete is second to none and he has certainly left our hockey program in a great position to compete for a MASCAC Championship on a consistent basis. But more important than that, I know that our men’s hockey players that graduated under Bob’s watch are more prepared than ever to tackle life beyond Worcester State.”
In his two years with the Lancers Deraney led the team to the MASCAC Quarterfinals and Finals. This past season, the team recorded the most MASCAC victories in program history with 12 regular season victories on their journey to a MASCAC Finals appearance. “We wish nothing but the best of luck to Bob with the Worcester Railers” says Mudd. “He is joining a wonderful organization and he will be a great asset for their hockey club.”
Punsky, who served as an assistant coach under Deraney for the last two seasons, will take over at the helm of the MASCAC finalist Men’s Ice Hockey team effective immediately. While serving as an assistant coach for Worcester State, Punsky is also a Premier and Elite Head Coach for the Islanders HC, a member of the USPHL, where he led both teams to National Championship appearances and a final four finish in the Elite Division in 2022.
“By hiring Jay, one of Bob’s Assistant Coaches the past two years, it allows our men’s ice hockey program to have a seamless transition for the upcoming year” states Mudd. “Jay instills a lot of the same values and philosophies that Bob does. I expect this group to continue progressing in an upward trajectory. In addition, Jay’s vast experience in junior hockey around the region for the past several years has allowed him to have a great handle on the recruiting marketplace which should be a great benefit to our program.”
Prior to his time with the Islanders, he served as General Manager and Head Coach for the Premier and Elite teams of the Boston Bandits, while simultaneously serving as the Director of Goaltending over his three years with the program. During his tenure with the Bandits, he consistently saw his teams to championship appearances and was a final four qualifier in 2019. Punsky also served as the General Manager and Head Coach for the Cape Cod Islanders of the NA3HL for two seasons from March 2015, where the team was 2015-16 NA3HL Coastal Division Champions and Punsky was named Coach of the Year. Punsky also served as the U18 AAA Head Coach for the Bay State Breakers from 2013-2015 after his tenure as Head Coach of the Middletown, RI Varsity Hockey Team for six seasons.
“This upcoming season will be the 54th year of competition for the Men’s Hockey team. I am honored to be named the program’s 8th Head Coach” says Punsky. “To be able to take over a program with such a long history and rich tradition is truly humbling. I want to thank Athletic Director Mike Mudd for entrusting me with this opportunity and I look forward to building upon the success that the program has had in the last two seasons.
For the past two seasons I served as Coach Deraney’s assistant. Under his direction, we worked hard to establish a championship mentality and culture. I want to thank Coach Deraney for all that he has done for this program. He’s been an excellent mentor to the players and to me. I’m excited to pick up where he left off.”
Punsky is a graduate from Salve Regina with a BA in Psychology and Administration of Justice and M.S. in Sports Management from New England College. He also has a USA Hockey Level 4 Coaching Certification.