Former Robert Morris captain and scoring standout Ryan Cruthers has joined the Colonials staff as an assistant coach.
Cruthers and Michael Gershon, who enters his fifth season at RMU, will assist Schooley as the men’s hockey team embarks on its 16th Division I season this fall.
Seven-year staff member Kody Van Rentergem will shift to volunteer coach for 2019-20.
Cruthers makes the move back to Pittsburgh after spending 2018-19 as the head coach of the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. He closed the previous season as the interim head coach of the USHL’s Chicago Steel, following up a successful multi-year stint running the USPHL’s Charlotte Rush.
“Since retirement from pro hockey, Ryan has gained tremendous experience coaching in two of the premier junior leagues in the country,” RMU head coach Derek Schooley said in a statement. “With that, we believe he will help our hockey program to take the next step. The fact that he’s an alum adds value as well.”
Cruthers transferred to RMU in 2005 after two years at Army West Point. The New York native led the Colonials in scoring in both 2006-07 and 2007-08, the latter of which he spent as team captain. He scored 39 goals and 86 total points in his two RMU seasons, finishing third in NCAA Division I in points per game in his senior season, when he was named the CHA Player of the Year. He was also nominated for the Hobey Baker and Senior CLASS awards before embarking on a professional career.
“I’m really excited,” Cruthers said. “This is an unbelievable opportunity. I was part of building the RMU program and I’m excited to be back.”
While in the pros, Cruthers played parts of eight seasons for teams in the AHL and ECHL.