FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - The Fort Wayne Komets announced Monday afternoon that head coach Al Sims is retiring after ten seasons with the franchise.
"It's been a great run for the 10 years I've been in Fort Wayne," Sims says. "The last 6 years have been incredible. As time goes on, they become more incredible. Maybe 20 years from now, I'll look back and think, holy mackerel, four championships in six years. It's just been tremendous. I think I've done all I can, and it's time to let somebody have a crack."
Sims first came to the Komets in 1989, and would lead the K's to an IHL Turner Cup Championship. After the title run, Sims moved on as an assitant coach for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and eventually the coach of the San Jose Sharks from 1996-97 season.
Al Sims Coaching Career Retrospective
Sims would spend the next decade throughout minor league hockey, before returning to Fort Wayne in 2007.
In his second stint as Komets head coach, Sims won four more league championships from the bench.
"It's the end of the Al Sims, Colin Chaulk, P.C. Drouin, Guy Dupuis, Nick Boucher era." Komets general manager David Franke says." "That era of hockey was, in my opinion, the golden days of Fort Wayne Komet hockey with all the championships. That era is over with; and now we've got to move on, and start a new chapter."
"It's going be a new team next year," Komets president Michael Franke says. "There's going to be a lot of change probably from both sides. From the organization standpoint and from Al's standpoint, this is the best time to bring in a new coach."
Sims holds the frachise coaching records for total wins (437) and playoff wins (72).
Al Sims biography provided by Fort Wayne Komets:
Al Sims Fort Wayne career through the years-
•1988-89-Made his Fort Wayne debut as a defenseman and player-assistant coach.
•1992-93, 2007-08-Named the IHL Coach of the Year each year.
•1990-91-Took the Komets to the IHL Turner Cup Finals in his second year as head coach; Fort Wayne's first year under Franke ownership.
•1991-92-Led the Komets to the IHL Eastern Conference Championship.
•1992-93-Guided the Komets to the Central Division title and Fort Wayne's 4th IHL Turner Cup Championship.
•2007-08-Returned to Fort Wayne as head coach of the Komets and won the IHL regular season title and Turner Cup Championship.
•2008-09-Coached the Komets to the IHL regular season championship and Turner Cup Championship for the second consecutive season. Became the winningest coach in Fort Wayne's history with his 272nd Komet win March 27, 2009 at Port Huron (2-1 OT win).
•2009-10-Guided the Komets to their seventh Turner Cup Championship and his fourth. Set a new Fort Wayne record for career Komet games coached with his 495th game Nov. 26, 2009 vs Flint, eclipsing the old record of 494 set by Ken Ullyot in 1970.
•2011-12-Captured his fifth Fort Wayne division title winning the Turner Conference Trophy before collecting his fifth Fort Wayne league championship winning the CHL Presidents' Cup.
•2012-13-Was his 38th pro year and 10th as Komet head coach and his 11th year with Fort Wayne overall. Completed the year with Fort Wayne head coaching records of 437 wins and 761 regular season games coached.
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