Fort Wayne-native Brian Gratz has resigned as coach of the Bloomington Thunder of the Southern Professional Hockey League after a 3-9 start. The former goaltender who played one game with the Komets is 32. He was in his second season with Bloomington after going 28-36-2 last season in the Central Hockey League.
Before that, he coached Dayton for two years in the CHL, going 45-48-19 while working with limited budgets and horrible facilities. He's in his sixth season as a pro coach after leading to Class A minor league teams to a combined 63-17-2 record over two seasons.
``This is a decision I have made with a heavy heart because I believe in everything this organization stands for and is trying to accomplish,'' Gratz said in a press release. ``I have very much enjoyed my time in Bloomington these last two hockey seasons. Success is right around the corner for us all. This city deserves the very best and I know under the guidance of John Butler, Bart Rogers and David Holt, professional hockey in Bloomington will continue to grow and flourish.''
Gratz attended Bishop Dwenger High School for two years before attending a prep school in Chicago. He played junior hockey before deciding to attend college and play hockey at Penn State. The Ice Lions play at the Division II level, and Gratz had a 1.76 goals-against average and .950 save percentage one season.
Gratz played one game with the Komets at the start of the 2005-06 season, joining Ron Ullyot, Colin Chin, John Baldassari, Chris Wright, Rick Wynn, Joe Franke, Brandon Warner, Bobby Phillips and Kaleigh Schrock as Fort Wayne natives who played for the Komets.