Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Betty Schnockered0
Photo: Walter Romero (aka Hispanic Attack)
The Hammer of MRDA: Bill Coulter
You may know Bill Coulter by his old derby name, Jack Hammer’D. He switched to skating under his real name at the beginning of the 2013 season to honor his grandparents on the track. Bill could call himself anything and he’d still be quite recognizable. On skates, he’s an immovable object gluing the pack together and beating back the other jammer. If you made a list of the hardest hitters in Men’s Derby, his name would be Sharpied on that list.
A member of Mass Maelstrom and a member of Team US, by all accounts he’s as affable off the track as he is feared on the track. Last year at the Green & White Scrimmage for Sandy Hook, he threw his own money into the fundraised total saying, “Let’s make it an even $5000!” When he was nominated as a Fascinating Derby Person, I definitely had questions to ask him.
DL: Why (and when) did you switch to skating under your real name?
BC: I switched before the 2013 season because I lost both of my last grandparents during the off season and it is a way for me to carry them with me while I skate. And also to make the family name proud.
DL: Do you think we’ll eventually drop the concept of “derby names” all together?
BC: I am not sure. There are many skaters that currently skate under their legal names, but there are more players that refuse to give up their derby name because to them it is a sign of accomplishment that they made it through training. Also that it is a persona of something outside their normal life.
DL: Your team won the Mohawk Valley Cup this year, do you have a favorite moment from that tournament?
BC: Watching the reaction of my teammates celebrate and the pure joy of all our hard work paying off. The MVC also gave our team our first win ever over New York Shock Exchange and Puget Sound Outcasts.
DL: In a year filled with tournaments, how do you get ready for them? Any tournament survival tips for those of us who haven’t been in that many?
BC: I drink way too many Monsters, sleep very little, have a few beers every night, and have as much fun as possible. I am not a role model but it works for me.
DL: I see you’re an original member of your league, do you find that being an original member is a privilege or a responsibility?
BC: It’s both. It’s a privilege in that I can say I have been here since day one and helped bring the team to where it is now. It is also a responsibility to be a role model and help more skaters. And to set an example for others on and off the track for our standards of expectations.
DL: What are you excited for in 2014?
BC: I look forward to Mass Maelstrom being number 1 in the world and taking home the championship. And being a part of men’s Team USA and skating alongside many players I look up to and whatever events we play at. Also thinking about going to RollerCon in Vegas for my birthday.