Ice Man

The Pensacola Ice Flyers have a new head coach. Beginning June 15, Gary Graham will assume the head coach position of the local Southern Professional Hockey League team.

“Gary brings extensive hockey knowledge, championship experience and excellent recruiting avenues to our organization,” owner Tim Kerr said in a press release. “We wanted to make sure we have the right person on and off the ice to lead our team, and every person I talked to about Gary had nothing but positives to share with me.”

Hailing from Fort Wayne, Ind., Graham has been an assistant coach with the Fort Wayne Komets, a team that is transitioning from the Central Hockey League into the East Coast Hockey League. As an assistant coach, he spent four years working under former NHL player Al Sims. During that four-year stint, the Komets won three championships (two while affiliated with the International Hockey League, and one this past season with the CHL.

“I have been fortunate enough over the past four seasons to see what it takes to win championships. It is an attitude, a culture that is defined right from training camp,” Graham said in the press release. “It takes men who have character and possess a willingness to get better everyday. This is what our team will be built on. This community deserves a team that competes for sixty minutes night in night out, and that is what they are going to get.”

The Ice Flyers apparently had a robust response to the search for a new head coach.

“We received nearly 40 resumes and with his success and the quality people he has been surrounded by, Gary’s definitely stood out,” said Ice Flyers’ minority partner Greg Harris.

Graham will have a formal introduction to Pensacola in the near future.

“Gary is enthusiastic and passionate about this great game,” Kerr said in the released statement. “In our time with Gary, he shared the same philosophies, ideals and morals that we want leading our team and organization, and representing myself, Greg and the Ice Flyers family both on and off the ice.”