Ryan Van Zelst joined the Royals' coaching staff prior to the 2015-16 season. During his time with the Royals, he helped the team capture the 2017 Landmark Conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament in both 2016 and 2017, including a first-round victory in 2017.
With the Royals, Van Zelst has played a key role in recruiting, scouting opponents, film study and editing, preparing practice plans and coordinating travel plans. His diligent work both on and off the court has helped Scranton go 54-27 (.667) during his three seasons on the coaching staff including an impressive 31-13 (.705) mark against Landmark Conference opponents.
In April 2017, Van Zelst was named to the 2016-17 Under Armour 30-Under-30 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The 30-Under-30 recognizes a group of up and coming young coaches in men’s college basketball.
Van Zelst has mentored seven Royals to All-Landmark Conference honors in his three seasons with the programs including Brendan Boken, who was an All-American and All-Region selection while being the 2015-16 Landmark Conference Player of the Year and John Vitkus, a two-time Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year honoree (2016, 2017) and an All-Region selection in the 2016-17 season.
Prior to coming to Scranton, Van Zelst served as an assistant at his alma mater, Albright College in Reading, Pa., for one season after serving as an assistant coach at York College (Pa.) from June 2012 through August 2014.
His primary responsibilities at both Albright and York College over those three seasons were recruiting, scouting, preparing individual workouts, tape exchange and video editing, and serving as position coach for the guards and wing players. He also served as assistant director of Albright College Skill Development Clinics last summer and as assistant director at the York College Boys’ Day Camp in the summers of 2013 and 2014.
In addition, Van Zelst coached at the Hoop Group Elite Basketball Camp the past three summers, was a staff member of the Hoop Group Bob Hurley Pocono Skills Basketball Camp in 2012 and 2013, and has also worked camps at Berks Catholic High School (2013) and Rider University (2012).
A 2011 graduate of Albright with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a management track, Van Zelst played three seasons on the Lions’ men’s basketball team and was a member of the 2010 team that captured the Commonwealth Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament. He is also a graduate of Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, where he was a captain of the 2006 boys’ basketball team and three-year starter.