Reading , PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, announced that the organization has hired Jeff Flanagan as the team's assistant coach.
Flanagan, who joins the Royals after serving as the associate coach and assistant general manager of the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League, will assist the Royals in all aspects of hockey operations, including the recruitment of players, management of practices, coordination of travel schedules, and maintenance of league-related documents, as well as handling bench assignments during games. Flanagan, who will turn 30 years of age on August 24, was a member of the 1996-97 Canadian university national champion, Guelph Gryphons, and is also a professional singer/songwriter who released a critically acclaimed record in 2004, Caught In The Rain.
Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Karl Taylor stated, "Not only does Jeff come to us on the strong recommendation of a number of veteran hockey people, but I've also had the opportunity to get to know Jeff personally. I think our players and fans will be impressed by Jeff's level of commitment, hockey knowledge, and intensity. He's a guy who puts his heart and soul into everything he does, and I expect him to be an integral component of our efforts to build a championship team. The possibility that Jeff might see fit to serenade the bus with a tune or two while we're on the road could turn out to be an added bonus."
Raised on a dairy farm in Dublin , Ontario , Flanagan played his junior hockey with the Seaforth Centenaires of the Ontario Hockey Association prior to entering the University of Guelph . While at Guelph , Flanagan was not only a member of a national championship team, but also earned degrees in agriculture (1998) and horticulture (1999). After short stints in the pro ranks with the Topeka Scarecrows of the Central Hockey League and the Leuven Chiefs of the Belgian Premier League, Flanagan entered the coaching certification program in Canada and eventually returned to Guelph in 2001, where he not only served as an assistant to Head Coach Jeff Reid, but also earned another degree–this time a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history.
In 2003, Flanagan went on to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he picked up a fourth degree (in education), while serving as the head coach for an elite youth hockey team in Thunder Bay and as a northwestern Ontario scout for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League.
In 2004, Flanagan returned to Europe where he served as an assistant to Head Coach Mark Bernard of the Basingstoke Bison in the British Elite League. After a season in the UK , Flanagan headed back to Canada , this time to British Columbia , where he joined the Powell River Kings as the associate coach and assistant general manager. Flanagan also served as the associate director of hockey operations for the Power River Minor Hockey Association. Flanagan's responsibilities in Power River were virtually all-encompassing and included recruiting players, participating in team selections, implementing practice plans, advising young players on decisions in school and career, planning and implementing hockey schools and camps, and managing various budgets.
While pursuing his coaching career, Flanagan has continued to cultivate his interests in music, writing songs that cut across the genres of folk, country, rock and pop. Flanagan's debut record contained twelve tracks including the award winning singles, Eighteen Wheeler and The Boys From Home. More information on–and audio clips from–Flanagan's musical career can be found at www.jeffflanagan.com . Flanagan and his wife, Rachel, are expected to relocate to the Reading area prior to the start of training camp for the Royals.