Former Komets coach Ralph Keller passes away

Ralph Keller (Courtesy of Fort Wayne Komets)

Former Komets coach Ralph Keller passed away today at age 82 in Hershey, Pa.

Keller replaced Ted Wright as Komets coach 11 games into the 1974-75 season and a 2-9-2 start and finished 24-37-5. His next two Komets teams made the playoffs, finishing 28-36-14 in 1975-76 and 32-36-10 in 1976-77, losing in the second round of the playoffs each time.

He had a 22-year playing career, mostly with Hershey of the American Hockey League from 1962 to 1974 where he became on the Bears’ all-time great defensemen and had his jersey retired. He captained Hershey’s 1974 Calder Cup championship team, scoring the title-clinching goal, before retiring. He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2016.

After his coaching days in Fort Wayne, Keller returned to Hershey where he became a hairdresser. For more than 30 years he was the owner of Raphael’s Hair Salon.