ECHL South Carolina Stingrays Hire Former AHL Assistant for Head Coach
Jared Nightingale photo| Great Lakes Hockey

The appointment of Jared Nightingale as the 12th coach of the South Carolina Stingrays marks a significant milestone in the team’s history. His unexpected arrival in South Carolina, coupled with his extensive experience as a player and coach, including his previous role as the assistant coach of the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, heralds a new era for the team. 

Jared joins the Stingrays knowing precisely what it’s like to be in the ECHL, not just as a previous coach but as a player. Nightingale is 41, a Michigan native whose family lives and breathes hockey. Both of his brothers are currently involved in the business, with Adam being Michigan State’s Head Coach and Jason, an analyst with the Buffalo Sabres. He has six years of assistant coaching experience, starting with the USHL in 2017, where he spent one season with the Omaha Lancers. He would then join the US National Team Development Program, which is for the development of the top American-born 17U players. In 2020, he joined the OHL and spent the canceled COVID season and part of the 2021 season in the league before joining the AHL in November 2021. 

Before his successful venture into coaching, Jared Nightingale had an impressive career as a player. He played with Michigan State for four seasons, where he was known for his aggressive defensive play and leadership on the ice. He then joined the AHL, signing his first professional contract in 2005 with the AHL Springfield Falcons. His time with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads the following season showcased his versatility and adaptability as a player. Jared would spend the next 13 years playing in the AHL and ECHL with teams like the Chicago Wolves and Toledo Walleyes, his final season being with the Quad City Mallards in 2017-2018. He would end his career with 472 AHL and 202 ECHL games, wearing the Captain C in 13-14 for the AHL and 14-17 in the ECHL.  

Jared Nightingale’s potential as a coach is already evident from his previous roles. As the overseer of the defense and penalty-kill teams at Rockford, he guided the Icehogs to three consecutive postseasons and saw five of his players make their NHL debuts. His leadership qualities and deep understanding of the game have been praised by Stingrays President Rob Concannon, who said, “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.”

South Carolina released their previous coach, Brenden Kotyk, on April 26th after the last month of the regular season, where the Stingrays would fall to every opponent they played and then fail to make the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Kotyk’s departure was a mutual decision, as both parties agreed that a change in leadership was necessary to revitalize the team. Nightingale is a welcome change that everyone is counting on to make the hard decisions, taking the Stingrays back to the caliber of hockey synonymous with their name.

Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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