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Jason Binkley named Royals head coach and general manager

Friday, May 17th
Jason Binkley coaching from the bench during a Reading Royals game

Reading, Pa. – The Reading Royals, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers and American Hockey League's Lehigh Valley Phantoms, announced that Jason Binkley has been named the team’s head coach and general manager. 

“We’re excited to formally bring Jason on board as the Royals’ next Head Coach and General Manager," Team President David Farrar stated. We’re confident that Jason will do an exceptional job as the leader of our hockey operations department, and we’re excited by the prospects of the next era of Royals hockey with Jason at the helm.”

"This is an exciting opportunity for myself and my career," Binkley stated. "This is the next step I was hoping to take and I have to thank David Farrar and the city of Reading for trusting me with this opportunity. I want to thank our affiliates in Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. I also want to thank the players and the fans. Everyone’s feedback has been nothing but positive as we look to build off the last few months of last season. Finally, I need to thank my wife Danielle and my son Wyatt for being alongside me for this journey and being the great support system they are at home."

Binkley, 31, is the ninth coach in the 23-year history of the Royals. The Powell, Ohio native joined the Royals as an assistant under James Henry in July of 2022 and he took over as interim head coach in January 2024, posting a record of 13-16-4 in 33 regular-season games. 

Binkley concluded his first season of coaching in the 2021-22 season as an Assistant Coach for the Fayetteville Marksmen in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). Binkley, under Head Coach Cory Melkert, helped lead the Marksmen to their winningest season in the franchise’s twenty-year history. With Binkley behind the player’s bench, the Marksmen recorded a 40-14 record in the regular season and made it to the Quarterfinal round of the President's Cup playoffs.

Before coaching, Binkley played NCAA Division-I hockey at Ferris State University. In his freshman season, Binkley competed in the 2012 Frozen Four championship game as a defenseman for the Bulldogs. Binkley scored 68 points (6g-62a) across his collegiate career. He won the Ferris State President's award for the top Bulldog student athlete his Sophomore year and was selected to the NCAA All-Academic team his Senior year. 

Binkley played six seasons of professional hockey and made his professional debut in 2015 in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays. Along with South Carolina, Binkley had stints with the Utah Grizzlies, Cincinnati Cyclones and Fort Wayne Komets. In 2017 and 2018, Binkley was a part of two deep playoff runs with the Komets and was among the top-three defenseman on the team in points. At the end of the 2018 season, Binkley received the The Unsung Hero Award, given to the player whose hard work, dedication to his teammates and love of the game is in the true spirit of Komet legends Robbie Irons and Terry Pembroke.

In 2019-20, Binkley played 38 games with Fort Wayne before playing four games in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters. In the same season, Binkley went overseas to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) with the Nottingham Panthers in England.

Binkley returned back to the ECHL to complete his final year as a player with the Jacksonville Iceman in the 2020-21 season. Across his professional playing career, Binkley scored 28 goals and 113 assists (141 points) in 341 games. 

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