SPHL Southern Professional Hockey League


Gratz resigns as Thunder coach

on Dec 04, 2013

After a 3-9-0 start to the Southern Professional Hockey League season, Brian Gratz has resigned as head coach of the Bloomington Thunder.

Gratz was in his second season as the coach of Bloomington's professional hockey teams and sixth season as a professional coach with an overall record of 149-120-23. The Thunder sit in last place in the 10-team SPHL with six points. His Bloomington Blaze squad finished 28-36-2 last season, good for ninth place in the Central Hockey League, and he remained in Bloomington this season to guide the transition to the SPHL with the expansion Thunder.

"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," said Gratz. "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."

"Brian has played an important role in Bloomington professional hockey during the past two seasons and we thank him for beginning our on-ice transition into the SPHL," said Thunder President David Holt. "We truly appreciate his efforts and wish him the best."

Zac Pearson will be behind the bench for the Thunder this weekend when they visit the Mississippi Surge in Biloxi on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and the Mississippi RiverKings in suburban Memphis on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Pearson is a former professional player and is head coach of the Bloomington Junior Blaze, who are off this weekend.

The Thunder return home next Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three games against the Mississippi Surge. Team information can be found at www.bloomingtonthunder.com, Facebook, Twitter (BLMThunder) and by calling 309-434-2980.