Fort Wayne, IN- The Komets announced Tuesday that Gary Graham has been selected as the next head coach of the Fort Wayne ECHL club. The announcement was mad during a press conference at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. As per team policy, terms of the contract will not be disclosed.
"I'm extremely proud of this opportunity the Komet organization has given me," Graham said. " We will begin a new chapter of Komet hockey with a lot of new faces, but the identity of this team will be simple; total commitment to getting better each and everyday. We will bring fast, young, hungry team into the Coliseum that our great fans can be proud of. There is no other team in hockey I would rather be coaching then the Fort Wayne Komets."
Graham becomes the 28th person to handle head coaching duties with the Komets since the team was established in Fort Wayne in 1952. Graham replaces Al Sims, who announced his retirement after the 2012-2013 season. "Gary is the right coach at the right time for the Komets," Komet president Michael Franke said."He Knows the Komet way of doing business and will be a tremendous asset to the Komet organization."
Graham is returning to the Komets after guiding Pensacola last season to the Ice Flyer's first Southern Professional Hockey League Championship. The Ice Flyer's finished 2012-2013 with a 33-18-5 record and 71 points, two points shy of capturing the regular season title. It was the first time Pensacola skated to a regular season winning percentage over .600 (.634) since joining the SPHL in 2009-2010.
The 2013 SPHL President's Cup Title was Graham's fourth career league crown. Before his stint with Pensacola, Graham collected three league championships in four seasons as an assistant coach with the Komets (earned league titles in 2009, 2010, 2012).
Graham, 34, majored in Exercise Science at Ball State University and resides in Fort Wayne with his children Connor and Isabella.