Danny Kerry, the most successful coach in British hockey history, has announced his decision to step down as head coach of the men’s programme after an unprecedented 17 years on the international stage.
Danny has been a member of the England and Great Britain international setup since 2005, and he has decided that the time has come for him to step down, for the sake of both the men’s programme and himself. While England and Great Britain Hockey are saddened to see him go, they respect his decision and recognise his enormous contribution.
Danny is the most successful hockey coach in British history, thanks to his accomplishments. He coached the women’s teams for more than a decade, in two stints, and helped them win their first Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, after taking bronze in London four years earlier.
Danny also led England’s women to EuroHockey Championship gold in London in 2015, among a slew of other World, European, and Commonwealth medals. Danny was rightfully awarded an MBE for services to hockey in 2017, having also served as Performance Director. His incredible dedication to the cause is exemplified by the way he recovered from a heart attack that year to lead the women’s programme once more.
17 Years at Great Britain Hockey
He leaves a talented group of players on an upward trajectory after finishing fifth at the Tokyo Olympics and climbing to sixth in the FIH world rankings as head coach of the men’s teams since September 2018. The squad is well-positioned as it prepares for the FIH Hockey Pro League, Commonwealth Games, World Cup, and Paris 2024. He leaves both the England and Great Britain teams in good shape for the future, having mentored a large number of young players during his tenure.
“Although this was not a decision I intended to make with this Olympic cycle in mind, it is the right one for both the team and myself,” Danny said. There is no denying the talent that exists within the men’s squad, and the good news is that a young crop is also set to emerge and fill positions within the side.”
“I have given everything over the last 17 years, perhaps too much at times, but I would not trade the life experiences I have had for anything.” I’ve had the honour of working alongside and with truly brilliant people at some of the most incredible moments in our sport’s history. The breakthrough medals at the Rosario World Cup in 2010 and the London Olympic Games in 2012 are perhaps the first to come to mind, along with the breakthrough gold at a home European Championships. These were the moments when athletes and staff took the necessary leaps of faith required to truly win big. Those trailblazers paved the way for Olympic gold in 2016 and the current performance programme. I believe that the current generation receives world-class support in a variety of ways. I have the utmost respect for those trailblazers and all those who have since picked up the baton with the same zeal. It’s been an honour to serve as coach.”
Personal and professional gratitude to Danny
“First and foremost, I want to record my heartfelt personal and professional gratitude to Danny,” said Great Britain Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney. He has given England and Great Britain Hockey unrivalled effort, commitment, choices, sacrifices, and passion. He possesses the most incredible super-strengths, from which players, teams, staff, and the sport itself have reaped enormous benefits.
“Danny’s contribution to hockey cannot be overstated: so much of our success over the last 17 years – international medals, the professionalisation of our international programme, a step-change in the visibility of our sport – has been directly related to a very special man.” He leaves a legacy in so many different ways that he can be proud of and hopefully content with.
“It is only right to thank Danny’s family, who have played a huge role over the years – endless trips for him across many continents, often for long periods of time, where I’m sure Lisa, Anna, and Orla have missed their husband and dad.”
“The Tokyo Olympic cycle was a proving ground for many of us in performance sport.” I know how much time and effort he has put into this decision, and after some more work with the squad, he feels the time has come to move on to new endeavours. He has given so much to the sport and is well-deserving of a well-deserved rest. We wish him the best and hope to maintain a close relationship in the coming years.”
“It is no exaggeration to say that Danny has created some of the most magical moments our sport has seen in the modern era,” said Sheila Morrow, President of Great Britain Hockey. Anyone who watched the Rio women’s final knows exactly where they were when the final shootout went in, and that match will never be forgotten. But Danny’s legacy is much more than just medals; he is a truly pioneering coach with the ability to lead a group of players – both men and women – and leave a positive impact on so many people who worked with him. He leaves the game as an absolute giant, and I wish him and his family the best of luck in the future – you have earned everything that comes your way.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with Danny over the last three years,” England and Great Britain vice-captain David Ames said. After only a few months in charge, he led us to a fourth-place finish at the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, demonstrating why he’s regarded as one of the best in the world. His attention to detail, level of planning, and tactical knowledge of the game demonstrate why he has been able to sustain long-term success during his coaching career with Great Britain Hockey. I wish him the best of luck on his next adventure and thank him for all of his hard work and dedication to our men’s programme.”
“Having been coached by Danny since 2005 when he joined the national team, I would like to personally thank him for all his years of dedication and service to our programmes,” said Alex Danson-Bennett, former women’s captain and double Olympic medallist. Our results tell the best storey, going from sixth place in Beijing to bronze in London and then Olympic gold. Danny is one of the world’s leading tacticians, if not the world’s leading tactician, and has made hockey a sport that everyone talks about.
“He was instrumental in bringing us to a professional level when we became full-time athletes in 2009; he gave us ownership over our programme and allowed us to foster an environment that ultimately led to our success.” I’d like to wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours and thank him for his extraordinary contribution. I will always be grateful for everything he brought to us, the memories we all made, the moments we created, and the sense of team togetherness we will always have.”
England and Great Britain Hockey would like to express their gratitude and respect for Danny’s enormous contribution once more. Assistant coach Zak Jones will now lead the squads on an interim basis. The search for a permanent head coach will begin soon.