The Dubuque Fighting Saints have announced that Kirk MacDonald has been officially named head coach. MacDonald will be the sixth head coach in the organization’s Tier I history, as he will succeed Greg Brown. The 38-year-old former pro brings four full seasons of head coaching experience at the ECHL level to Dubuque, all with the Reading Royals, the AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

MacDonald said:

The reputation of the Dubuque Fighting Saints speaks for itself—with how good the organization is, an outstanding ownership group led by Brad Kwong, Kalle Larsson’s work finding good players, and their winning tradition,”. “This is a thrilling new challenge to get to coach some of the best junior-aged players in the world. It’s truly an exciting endeavor.”

Northern Lights Hockey, LLC Managing Partner Brad Kwong.says:

“Kirk has been on our radar for some time. We really admire his competitiveness and his ability to connect with his players,”  “We think the fans in Dubuque will love the way his teams play the game.”

MacDonald was an assistant coach with Reading for the first three years of his pro coaching career, and then took the mantle of the head coaching job as an interim head coach to end the 2016–17 season. He was then tabbed with the official position of head coach and director of hockey operations from the start of the 2017–18 season onward. As a head coach, he led the Royals to a 158-86-34 regular season record. Most recently, the Royals finished first place in the North Division with a 45-17-9 record, and a +57 goal differential.

MacDonald coached former Fighting Saints Frank DiChiara, Nick Luukko, Shane Walsh, and Robbie Darrar during his time in Reading.

His coaching career began immediately after retiring from pro hockey in 2013. MacDonald returned to his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) as an assistant coach for the 2013–14 season. There, he coached former Fighting Saints Luke Curadi and Milos Bubela.

As a player, Kirk MacDonald was a consistent source of offense, whether it was at the NCAA level at R.P.I., the ECHL level with the Florida Everblades or with Reading, and at the AHL level with the Albany River Rats, the Providence Bruins, the Iowa Chops and the Houston Aeros. In ten seasons as a professional hockey player, MacDonald scored 96 goals and 121 assists in 406 games.

The native of Victoria, British Columbia, takes over a Fighting Saints team that has made the playoffs in every year of Tier I competition, and has put together a record of 413-222-73 since 2010. The Saints’ elite pedigree has elevated all of its coaches to the next level—something that MacDonald has taken notice of in taking the position.

MacDonald will be in attendance to evaluate the future of the Fighting Saints at 2022 Main Camp, which will take part in Maryland Heights, Missouri at the Centene Community Ice Arena from June 14 through 17. The camp will culminate in the all-star game on June 17 at 10:00 a.m.

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