Youngstown Hires Ryan Ward as Head Coach

The Youngstown Phantoms have tapped Ryan Ward as their next head coach.

Ward comes to Youngstown from the Tri-City Storm where he was the Director of Player Development for the USHL club and the Hockey Director of the Windy City Storm, Tri-City’s youth hockey program.

“We are ecstatic to have Ryan join the Phantoms,” said Co-Owner Murry N. Gunty. “Ryan is a talented, young, up-and-coming hockey mind that wants to play a fast paced, competitive, puck-possession style in Youngstown. When we opened our search, we knew that we wanted someone that was offensive-minded, creative, and passionate. We wanted someone that came from a coaching tree of successful people. Ryan has trained under the likes of Scott Gordon, Sheldon Keefe, Mike Babcock, and Anthony Noreen and has been involved with championship programs such as the Tri-City Storm, Soo Greyhounds, and the St. Louis Blues. He checked off all those boxes. From Tri-City’s Anderson Cup this year to the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup in 2019, he has been affiliated with winning every step of the way in his career and we fully expect him to bring that mentality to Youngstown.”

In addition, the Phantoms said that assistant coaches Andy Contois and Brandon Gotkin had their deals renewed through 2024-25.

Ward was previously the head coach of the Selects Academy U15 team and he was an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

Ward served as video coach for the New York Islanders from 2008-2012. From 2014-2016, Ward was part of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Ward spent the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons on staff with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL.

Ward will replace Brad Patterson, whose contract will expire.

 “I want to thank Brad for all he has done for the Youngstown Phantoms organization,” said Phantoms President Andrew Goldman.  “He has been the consummate professional and has developed elite hockey players and more importantly, incredible young men.  The Phantoms are in fantastic shape heading into next year and beyond and much of that is thanks to Brad’s years of tireless commitment to the team and to its players.”