- From NWHL Release
STORRS, Conn. – This week, the Connecticut Whale of the National Women’s Hockey League announced the hiring of UConn alum Ryan Equale ‘96 as the team’s new head coach. Equale wore the “C” on his jersey and was an All-American for the Huskies during his four years on the Storrs campus from 1992-96.
Equale, a Connecticut native, has been active in coaching and teaching the sport of hockey for the past 22 years after his retirement as a player.
“It is a true privilege to be named head coach of the Connecticut Whale,” said Equale. “As the father of three young children, accepting this opportunity was an easy decision. My children have been attending NWHL games since the inaugural season and love watching the talented women of this league – including a few that my children have been fortunate enough to have had as coaches over the years.”
A 1996 University of Connecticut graduate, Equale was named a First Team All-American and was the NCAA scoring champion his senior season. He finished as the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 188 points on 79 goals and 109 assists. During the 1995-96 season, Equale had 21 goals and 41 assists for 62 points in 25 games. He went on to a four-year professional career in the ECHL and CHL, where his teammates voted him one of the team captains numerous times.
Equale, a Level 4 certified USA Hockey coach, has coached both boys’ and girls’ hockey for some of the premier organizations in Connecticut, including the CT Yankees and Mid-Fairfield Stars. As a coach for Mid-Fairfield, he was part of the 2010-2011 Tier 1 U14 National Championship team. He has also coached Stars teams that have won one silver and three bronze medals over the past four seasons. The Stars teams coached by Equale have all won the Tier 1 State Championship and Tier 1 Regional Championship in each of the seven seasons he has coached for Mid-Fairfield.
“For the past ten years I have been focused on developing young women at the level from U12-U19 teams in order to help them achieve their academic and athletic goals,” said Equale. “That experience, coupled with my own experience as a professional player, is something that I’m confident will help build a positive culture of high performance, accountability and results.”
About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players and share in revenue from select apparel sales. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015 with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The first two winners of the Isobel Cup were the Pride (2016) and the Beauts (2017).