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Komets announce departure of longtime coach Gary Graham

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – After spending 10 years with the team, Fort Wayne Komets Head Coach Gary Graham is moving on.

The hockey club on Monday announced that Graham will not lead the team when it returns to the ice for the 2019-20 season.

“Gary did a great job during his 10 seasons with the Komets,” team President Michael Franke said. “We will honor the final year of Gary’s contract. This will give him the opportunity to land a new position in the hockey world while still under contract.”

In a statement posted to the Komets website, the team notes that Graham served as an assistant coach for four years from 2008-09 to 2011-12 and has served as head coach and director of player personnel the last six seasons.

“It’s kind of a somber moment for me,” Graham said. “Because of the fact that we didn’t bring a Kelly Cup to Fort Wayne. We got close.

“This last year wasn’t good enough by any of our expectations.”

Graham finishes with a Fort Wayne head coaching career record of 251-130-51 for 553 points and a .640 winning percentage over 432 regular season games.

“It’s a fresh start for Gary to further his career and provides the Komets a new voice behind the bench,” Komets Vice President and General Manager David Franke said. “We wish nothing but the best for Gary and his family and thank him for his service.”

The search for the 29th head coach in Komets history has already begun, according to team officials.

The Toledo Walleye eliminated the Komets from the ECHL playoffs with a 4-1 win in Game 6 of their Central Division semifinal series last month.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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