Kevin Dean enters his first season as Head Coach of the Providence Bruins, and sixth season overall with the club, after spending five years as a member of the New Jersey Devils organization’s coaching staff. The 47-year-old's coaching experience includes four seasons as an assistant coach of the Lowell Devils (AHL) and one year as head coach of the Trenton Devils (ECHL). Before he took a position behind the bench, Dean played 12 years professionally, highlighted by winning both the Calder Cup and Stanley Cup during the 1995 season.
A Madison, Wisconsin native, Dean was the New Jersey Devil’s fourth choice and the 86th overall selection in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Following the draft, Dean took his talents to perennial Hockey East powerhouse, the University of New Hampshire. In four years on the blue line for the Wildcats, the defenseman recorded 50 points in 131 games. Following his senior season in Durham, Dean made his professional debut with the Devil’s AHL affiliate, the Utica Devils.
After spending time between Utica, Cincinnati (ECHL) and Albany (AHL) from 1990-1994, Dean’s career took a dramatic upwards turn. The River Rats captain tallied a career-high 37 assists for 42 and was named a first-team AHL All-Star when the River Rats won the Calder Cup in 1994-95. The blueliner also received his first NHL call-up, playing in 17 regular season games for New Jersey. However, it was the three playoff games he suited up for that got his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup. The only player in the organization to be a part of both the Stanley Cup and the Calder Cup, Dean also became one of only four players to win both coveted trophies in the same season.
Dean remained in the Devils’ organization for four more seasons until he was picked up by Atlanta in the 1999 NHL Expansion Draft. He split the 1999-00 season between Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago, recording 11 points in 64 regular season games. A veteran of 12 professional seasons, Dean retired following 2000-01 season with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL). Dean finished his professional career with 34 goals and 177 assists for 1 point.
Following a 12-year professional career, Dean hung up his skates and took a position behind the bench with the Lowell Devils in 2006 as an assistant coach under Kurt Kleinendorst. The Devils struggled for three seasons falling short of the playoffs from 2006 to 2009. In the organization’s final season before moving to Albany, head coach John MacLean and Dean led the Devils to their first winning record since the 2006-07 season.
The New Jersey offices took notice of Dean’s efforts and following the 2009-10 season, Dean was named the head coach of the Trenton Devils, the ECHL affiliate of the Albany Devils. He led the struggling team to a 27-37-0 record, falling short of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Following the 2010-11 season, the New Jersey Devils, the owner and NHL affiliate of the Trenton club, suspended Trenton’s operations.