Kirk MacDonald enters his second full season as Reading Royals Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations in 2018-19. During his first full season at the helm, MacDonald navigated Reading to a third-place finish in the North Division at 39-24-9-0 (87 points). From Dec. 28 to the end of the regular season, the Royals boasted a 25-11-7-0 mark. Manchester defeated Reading in four games in the 2018 North Division Semifinals. Under MacDonald‘s direction, leading scorer Matt Willows (32g, 74 pts.) finished third in the league in points. Reading completed 2017-18 ranked sixth in team defense (2.76 GA/GM). MacDonald was named Head Coach and Dir. of Hockey Operations on May 24, 2017. He is the seventh coach in the team’s 17-year history. Originally tabbed the Royals interim Head Coach in April 2017, MacDonald led the team to wins in the final three regular season games of the 2016-17 season, plus two victories in the Kelly Cup Playoffs vs. Brampton
MacDonald joined the Royals as an assistant to Coach Larry Courville in July of 2014. During his tenure as assistant, the Royals compiled a record of 119-72-14-8 in 213 regular season games (.610 win percentage). The team qualified for playoffs in all three seasons during which MacDonald served as an assistant. MacDonald served as the sole bench coach for the Royals in a 5-1 win over the Adirondack Thunder on January 27, 2017, when Coach Courville was serving a one-game suspension.
Prior to joining the Royals as an assistant coach, MacDonald served for one season as an assistant at his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) in Troy, New York, where he returned upon completion of his pro playing career, which concluded after he and his Reading teammates captured the 2013 Kelly Cup.
As a pro player, MacDonald recorded 217 points (96g) and 358 penalty minutes in 406 games over seven-plus seasons. He played 272 of those games in the AHL and 24 Calder Cup Playoff games. In the ECHL, MacDonald had two stints with the Royals and one was during the 2012-13 Championship season. MacDonald racked up 38 points (16g) and 57 penalty minutes during the regular season, then played every playoff game (22 GP, 4g, 8a). Two of MacDonald’s playoff goals were short-handed, one of which proved to be the game-winning mark in the series-deciding Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Cincinnati.
Prior to turning pro, MacDonald had a stellar four-season and five-year career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After leading R.P.I. in goals (16) and points (36) and being selected the team’s MVP in his junior season (2004-05), MacDonald was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The diagnosis kept him out of action the following year. In 2006-07, MacDonald returned for his senior season, leading the team in goals (12) and tied for the team lead in points (27). For his efforts, MacDonald, who served as the team captain that season, was voted as R.P.I.’s Most Inspirational Player. That year, MacDonald received the Livingston W. Houston Citizenship Award at RPI honoring the ‘First Citizen of the College,” for character, leadership, scholarship and athletic ability and was also a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which is awarded to college hockey’s finest citizen.
Mike Marcou was named Royals Assistant Coach on Aug. 12, 2018, marking a return to central Pennsylvania for the former Royals Captain. The 29-year-old got his first taste of coaching experience with the P.A.L. Junior Islanders last season, serving as assistant coach. The Islanders completed the regular season with 42 points in 50 games. Marcou retired from professional hockey following the 2016-17 ECHL season, when he served as Royals Captain.
Over three seasons patrolling Reading’s blue line, Marcou recorded 66 points, the fifth-most by a Royals defenseman in team history. He registered a career-high 35 points (6g) with the team in 2014-15. After starting the next season in Austria with the Graz 99ers, Marcou returned to the Flyers organization in Dec. 2015 and scored 19 points (4g) in 47 games.
He played in 14 Kelly Cup Playoff games in 2016 and Reading qualified for the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During his final professional season, the native of Kings Park, NY notched 12 points (2g) in 27 games before finishing the season with the Florida Everblades.
Marcou, played five seasons of professional hockey and led the defensemen on his team in scoring three times (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15). He spent the first two seasons of his career with Greenville and competed in six AHL games in his career.
In 2012-13, his rookie season, Marcou topped Greenville defensemen with 25 points (6g) in 54 games and was selected to represent the Road Warriors at the 2013 ECHL All-Star Classic. In 272 ECHL games, Marcou put up 26 goals, 124 points and 93 PIM. Marcou qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of his five professional seasons.
Prior to turning pro, Marcou played four seasons at the UMass-Amherst (2008-12). He was the team’s alternate captain in his junior and senior seasons. In his sophomore campaign, he was selected as the team’s co-Most Improved Player. In 117 collegiate games, Marcou recorded 43 points (17g) and 77 penalty minutes.