ECHL: Jared Nightingale Named South Carolina Head Coach

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, announced today that Jared Nightingale has been hired as the team's new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations. Nightingale becomes the 12th Head Coach in franchise history.

"I would like to thank Mark Bernard of the Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Blackhawks for allowing us the opportunity to speak with Jared. Jared's extensive resume as a player in the AHL and in the ECHL, coupled with the past three seasons as an assistant coach in Rockford, working with their top NHL prospects, made him a very intriguing candidate for this job," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "After spending a few days with him here in Charleston and getting to know each other, it became clear to me that he was a great fit as our new Head Coach. Jared is a natural leader with a high hockey IQ who understands the details of the game that make teams successful. He will do a great job recruiting and connecting with our players. I remember Jared from when he played in Charlotte and Toledo. He was always hard to play against, and I look forward to seeing those same characteristics on our team next season."

Nightingale, 41, played 13 seasons of professional hockey and has coached for six years, including most recently serving as an assistant coach for the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs for the past three seasons. Nightingale oversaw Rockford's defense and penalty kill and helped guide the IceHogs to a 111-84-14-7 record and three consecutive appearances in the Calder Cup Playoffs. During Nightingale's tenure as assistant coach with Rockford, five defensemen made their NHL debuts with the Chicago Blackhawks after spending time with the IceHogs.

"In Jared, we believe we have found a seasoned leader who is prepared to do what it takes to get the Stingrays back to a perennial playoff contender," said Stingrays Principal Owner Todd Halloran. "We are very excited he has decided to join us as we renew our quest to win another Kelly Cup Championship." 

Nightingale began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL in 2017-18. The following season, he became an assistant coach at the U.S. National Team Development Program, coaching the top American-born U17 players. From 2019-2020, Nightingale served as the Associate Coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit and helped guide the team to a 41-16-5 record before COVID canceled the remainder of the OHL season. He started the 2021-22 season with the OHL's Flint Firebirds as an assistant coach before joining the Rockford IceHogs staff in November 2021.

"I'm very thankful, thrilled, and humbled for this opportunity to be the next Head Coach of the South Carolina Stingrays," said Nightingale. "I have always aspired to be a Head Coach and have enjoyed learning and growing at the junior level and in the American Hockey League. The ECHL is a league that springboarded my career, and I'm very familiar with the history of the Stingrays and the success that they've had. I want to thank Todd Halloran and Rob Concannon for giving me this opportunity, and I'm excited to get to work."

Before beginning his coaching career, the 6-3 205 lb defenseman skated in 472 American Hockey League games and suited up for 202 ECHL games, totaling 102 points (23 goals, 79 assists) and 1,534 penalty minutes.

Throughout his playing career, the Jackson, Michigan native assumed a leadership role as the captain of the AHL's Rockford IceHogs during the 2013-14 season and again with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye from 2014-2017. Nightingale was a member of the 2014-15 Toledo Walleye team that faced off against the Stingrays in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Nightingale played four seasons of college hockey for Michigan State University, where he tallied 22 points (2 goals, 20 assists) in 156 NCAA games from 2002-2006, playing alongside his brother, Adam, for two seasons. Adam currently serves as Michigan State's Men's Hockey Head Coach, while Nightingale's other brother, Jason, has spent the past 11 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization as an analyst and scout.

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