Brian Gratz, a native of Fort Wayne with much experience in professional hockey, has been hired as an assistant coach for the Trine hockey team, The Journal Gazette confirmed.
Gratz, 39, who briefly played for the Komets as a goalie in 2005-06, spent last season as an assistant coach for Chinese team ORG Beijing of the VHL (Vysshaya Liga), a Eurasian league one step below the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League, widely considered the top league outside of the NHL.
The head coach of that team was Gary Graham, another native of Fort Wayne and former Komets head coach, but ORG Beijing isn’t playing this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gratz has been a head coach with multiple teams who faced the Komets, including the Dayton Gems, Bloomington Thunder and Greenville Swamp Rabbits, who let him go in 2018.
He was the head of athlete development at SportONE/Parkview Icehouse in 2018-19. More recently, he had been assisting the Fort Wayne Spacemen junior team and the Homestead hockey team, giving private lessons and consulting for the ECHL’s Indy Fuel.
Gratz is already on the road recruiting for Trine’s head coach, Alex Todd.