Yale assistant Donald leaves alma mater for coach-GM job with new BCHL franchise

Ryan Donald has served as an assistant coach at Yale since the 2015-16 season (photo: Cranbrook Bucks).

The BCHL’s Cranbrook Bucks announced Tuesday that Ryan Donald has been named head coach and general manager, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract starting with the 2020-21 season.

Donald is currently an assistant coach at Yale, where he has served since the 2015-16 season. He played four years for the Bulldogs, captaining the 2009-10 team that won the ECAC Hockey regular-season championship and defeated North Dakota in the Northeast regional.

“Ryan is an incredible hire for our club and is absolutely the right person to build this franchise,” said Bucks owner and president Nathan Lieuwen in a statement. “Not only does he have quality experience coaching at high levels, but he also has great connections throughout the NCAA.”

“I am thrilled to be able to lay the foundation for success here in Cranbrook,” added Donald. “It is a rare opportunity to build a program from the ground up, and to do so in a place with a passion for hockey like Cranbrook is outstanding. It was clear to me from the beginning that our ownership is passionate about this community and the success of our athletes, both on and off the ice. As the head coach and general manager, I will bring that same energy and passion as we build a culture of daily excellence.”