Kirk MacDonald is in his fourth season as head coach for the Reading Royals. Under his watch, the club has clinched playoff berths in two of his three previous years. He is the seventh head coach in team history, and he joined the Royals as an assistant to Larry Courville in July of 2014 before taking over in April 2017.
As a player, MacDonald retired after playing 406 professional games across the AHL and ECHL, recording 106 points in 272 AHL games and 111 points in 134 ECHL games. He ended his career immediately after helping the Royals win their first-ever Kelly Cup championship in 2013.
MacDonald spent five years with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and scored 103 points in 137 NCAA games. In April of 2005, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and forced to miss the 2005-06 season while recovering from subsequent chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. He came back as captain for his senior season of 2006-07, scoring 27 points in 33 games and was named to the NCAA Lowes Senior Class All-Americans 1st Team for his performance.
James Henry was the assistant coach of the Fayetteville Marksmen of the SPHL in the 2020-21 season but never got the chance to work in-game due to COVID-19. His move up to the ECHL comes one year after retiring from playing. Henry is the all-time leader in points for the Adirondack Thunder with 69 goals and 161 assists in 303 games played. He scored 86 more points than second place in the all-time list, Pete MacArthur. He also played 110 games more than Conor Riley, who is second on the all-time games played list.
Across his ECHL career, he scored 14 goals and 23 assists (37 points) in 51 games against the Royals. He also captained the Thunder through the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. He was awarded in 2019 with the ECHL Community Service Award, was named to the ECHL All-Star Game in 2017, and captained the Vancouver Giants of the WHL in 2011-12. Internationally, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native represented the Western part of Canada in the 2008 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and won the bronze medal.