Komets pick Bingham

July 10, 2006

The Fort Wayne Komets have selected Pat Bingham as the 25th coach in the team’s 55-year history. Bingham, 37, edged out John Marks to replace Greg Puhalski who recently became coach of the United Hockey League’s Chicago Hounds.

Komets General Manager David Franke said it was the toughest of the eight coaching choices he’s had to make since his family bought the team in 1990.

Both Bingham and Marks, 58, were tremendously qualified. Bingham was recently let go as an assistant coach with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League when his contract was not renewed. The Sound Tigers’ NHL parent club, the New York Islanders, recently made changes in management staff which wanted their own minor league coaches.

More than likely, the first thing Bingham did after hearing the news was to jump on the phone to start recruiting players.

“That’s just what he does,’’ said Jim Brooks, co-owner of Wheeling of the East Coast Hockey League where Bingham coached for two years. “All day, all night, he’s is always thinking how he’s going to make his team better, whether it’s now or in the future. He understands what it takes.’’

Before Bingham took over, the Nailers had not made the playoffs for five straight seasons. He replaced mentor John Brophy and led Wheeling to a 51-17-4 record in 2003-04 to win ECHL Coach of the Year honors. Before he got there, the Nailers had never won more than 37 games in a season.

“As a player he was a hard nosed, really, really tough guy,’’ Brophy said. “He played hockey first and if something had to happen he took care of it. He would do the same as coach. The players liked him a lot because he worked hard for them. I think he’s perfect for this day and age.’’

Another factor for Bingham in the process was his knowledge of the UHL. He coached Asheville to a division title and the 2001 Colonial Cup Finals and led Adirondack to a 92-point season in 2002-03.

“He has a worth ethic that is second-to-none, and 10-15 years he’ll be in the NHL as a head coach,’’ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Chief Executive Officer Jeff Barrett. “He knows the game and busts his butt to make sure he gets the most out of his players. A lot of it is about recruiting and contacts and he works harder at that than anybody I’ve ever seen. If I had a job open here, I’d sign him.’’

Bingham’s career record is 215-123-9 as a head coach, and his teams are known for their toughness and high skill level.

“You have to have an element of toughness, but you can’t sacrifice skill,” he said early in the coaching search. “If you are really doing your homework and working hard at recruiting, you can find those players. You can’t have too many soft, skilled guys, either, but you have to be able to play it both ways. You have to be tough enough to go with them if they want to play that way and skilled enough to play with the skill teams."

His Asheville team had 12 players with 100 or more penalty minutes, but also 13 players with 10 or more goals. Adirondack had even more toughness, and five players who scored 30 goals or more. A defenseman, Bingham played seven years in Class AA hockey, so he understands what the players want. During his two years in Wheeling, 13 of his players each season advanced to the AHL.


56 Responses to “Komets pick Bingham”

  1. IndyKomet Says:

    Congrats to Bingham!

    Lets get some players signed now!

  2. Mark Says:

    welcome to Fort Wayne Coach Bingham

  3. Greg Says:

    Welcome to Fort Wayne Coach Bingham.

    Hope coach Marks can still get his old job back with Grenville.

  4. Burgee Says:

    Welcome coach, now we have to pound Rockford every game and win the cup. thats all i want. thanks.

  5. Jungle Monkey Says:

    Welcome Coach Bingham! This makes JungleMonkey very happy!

  6. Mark Says:

    this is gonna be an interesting rest of the summer…

    is the St Pierre annoucement coming today blake…

  7. Greg Says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot about St. Pierre, all those bloddy rumors.

  8. ilovehockey Says:

    Congrats to coach Bingham. Now, give us the news on Frenchy.

  9. Anna Says:

    Well now that we have a coach, I think the first thing on his agenda should be getting Danny Stewart back! 🙂

  10. Jungle Monkey Says:

    I think Danny is going to Europe. Not sure if its been announced yet.

  11. TheOtter Says:

    Finally we have a new coach. I hope that management takes a good look at Kelly Miller and Jamie Milam. Can’t wait to see the new blood that is brought into Fort Wayne!

  12. Ashley Says:

    Congrats to Bingham! Can’t wait until October 21! =)

    And I’m ready for the Frenchy news too. I hope he pulls through….

    Speaking of Danny Stewart, my brother saw him on this past Saturday. So he’s possibly still in town. I’d like to have him back but I doubt we would be seeing him.

  13. Jason Says:

    We can get better players than Danny Stewart.

  14. Tony E Says:

    Congrats to Coach Bingham. Here is to a new look to the future of the Komets. A younger and hungry team. Time to look forward and leave the past where it is. This is a new generation of Komet hockey.
    The amazing thing on this, it sounds like all fans are happy with this choice. Lol everyone agreeing. What is up with that? 😉

  15. Mark Says:

    I was kinda hoping for Marks, but heck, I’m not upset with Bingham either…I’m just glad we have a coach now…GO KOMETS

  16. Greg Says:

    Right now we’re just happy one decision is done, let’s get some players signed please.

  17. ilovehockey Says:

    Well said Greg. I didn’t care which one was picked for our coach. They both were wonderful choices. Now, let’s get on with building our team.

  18. Tony E Says:

    For awhile I was concerned
    that Coach Bingham would simply look at Fort Wayne as a quick stepping stone. I have thought about it and I believe that once he sees how much passion there is in Fort Wayne and what a quality organization he is working for, he will think twice before leaving for another minor league job. Opening night I think fans need to give Bingham (and the new cast of players) the loudest ovation that has been heard in the jungle in a long time.

  19. ilovehockey Says:

    Sounds good to me, as long as we hear Welcome To The Jungle and Gary Glitter that night too!!!!!!! LOL

  20. Tony E Says:

    Ok, I have found the downside to all of this.
    Blake gets to leave us and go on vacation 😦

    Blake please reconsider!! Look what happened on the blog last night when you left your post for the evening!

    Seriously, everyone here I am sure would agree that you work much too hard and as much as we will miss having you around for a few days (if you actually can leave your computer off) you deserve to have some quality unwinding time. Here is hoping you find yourself on a nice beach sipping a cold drink with a bikini clad fan girl at your beck and call 😉

  21. Kometfanfromafar Says:

    Frenchy will not be returning to Fort Wayne, now you know. The offer was O.K. but not good enough for the best goalie in all of minor league hockey.

  22. Shawn Says:

    Welcome coach lets get the jungle back to rockin

  23. Greg Says:

    Forget bikni clad:-)

  24. nicko Says:

    Hey, alright, I’m glad it is decided. Seriously, I was ready to go into the Franke’s offices and flip the coin for them. I am looking forward to this year. Now, Frenchy or not, lets build a team.

  25. Tony E Says:

    Kometfanfromafar, what is your opinion based on? If the best goalie in minor league hockey is a career AA goalie then the sport is in trouble.

  26. Greg Says:

    Actually, I’d like to know why KFFA thinks, Frenchy isn’t coming back.

  27. Tony E Says:

    I didn’t bother to ask. I assume it is a “reliable source” 😉
    I would be surprised if he comes back. Either way it doesn’t matter. If not him there are plenty of quality goalies floating around right now. The Komets do not need to overpay for St Pierre.

  28. Blake Says:

    Just talked to Frenchy, and he’s meeting with the Frankes today. He said nothing has been decided as of yet, but he is leaning toward a certain way. He declined to expand on that. Maybe it’s a positive that he’s still going to meet with them.

  29. Greg Says:

    Or that he’s showing some class and turning the Frankes down face to face, or that there might be more negotiating that needs to be done…oh wait a mineut, rumors are on the other thread. Oops sorry.

  30. Jungle Monkey Says:

    I’d like to see Frenchy one more year with some killer D in front of him. If not, thats cool too.

  31. Hoss Says:

    I’d like to see Frenchy come back and have two number ones between the pipes! Frenchy wouldn’t have to be the stud and if he needed time off, it wouldn’t hurt the team like in years past. Plus it would give my sis-in-law something to cheer about since she is SUCH A BIG FAN OF FRENCHY’S!!!

  32. Mark Says:

    Your kidding right hoss…you don’t have to sit them them…but wait..then again I don’t HAVE TO either..I just do…

  33. Bob Says:

    Coach Bingham, Congratulations and Welcome to Fort Wayne.

  34. Greg Says:

    Problem is Hoss, Frenchy WANTS to play all those games, or that’s what I’ve heard, You can’t get a good back up here to play behind St. Pierre becuase they know they won’t get much playing time unless St. Pierre gets hurt.

  35. Anna Says:

    Other than getting Frenchy back, I hope the new coach considers bringing back – Goodwin, Milam, Jorde, and Dombkiewicz. If you are reading this Coach Bingham, PLEASE! 🙂

  36. Kometsrock Says:

    The latest is all new (except for maybe st. pierre).

  37. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Congratulations Coach Bingham….I hope we don’t all have to call you Chief. Let’s give this guy a chance to come in and get his team stacked up before we lay judgement on him….I will give him 10-15 games….LOL

    Anna….Jorde? I hope that was a joke. He is not only a horrible defensemen and a sissy, he is a cancer in the locker-room. He is so much better than this league…if you don’t know that….just ask him!!!!

    One request of the New Coach for next season…please do not let the opposing teams come onto our home ice and out play us, out hustle us, or out hit us. If that is taken care of…we will all be happy.

  38. JR Says:

    Good choice, I dont think they could have gone wrong either way. I am just glad I didnt have to choose… Now with that out of the way lets start seeing this team take form….Go K’s…

  39. JC Says:

    Blake, do we have any time table as to when some guys will be signed and do you know of any of the new guys that Bingham is recruiting to Fort Wayne?

  40. JC Says:

    I did notice that Jake Ortmeyer used to play for Bingham when he was in Wheeling. I hope there is a chance he could come back here. Very good defenseman.

  41. Mark Says:


    I thought the same thing also about Ortmeyer…also the news said Frenchy was gonna let them know by midnight tonight if he would accept the offer..

    this is starting to get real good…

  42. JC Says:

    I believe Ortmeyer is an outright free agent too right now. Charlotte doesn’t own his rights and thats where he played last year so I guess you never know!

  43. Mark Says:

    very true…like i said its starting to get real good around here…


  44. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    I would bet the next 2-3 weeks ought to be very exciting for us fans and this team. The balances on the season tickets are due July 31st. Wouldn’t it make tons of marketing sense to announce several big signings to get the fan base’s attention. I bet Frenchy will take the offer. He wants to build a Real Estate name for himself in this community…why not keep your name on the cities favorite team?

  45. Mark Says:

    very true Hit, it should be a very interesting 2-3 weeks for the Komets…boy Oct can’t come fast enough…


  46. Skate Says:

    St. Pierre’s presence will prevent the Komets from getting any kind of talented backup as a guy who is trying to move up, won’t be happy to play one game in 10.

    I’d rather see St. Pierre get a little less $$, play fewer games, get a better back up, have him (or HER, or HER) learn and develop under St. Pierre.

    Easier reg season schedule may make him sharper for the playoffs,

  47. Ashley Says:

    I would also love to see Dombkiewicz, Miller, and Milam come back aswell. Hopefully will Bingham becoming the coach, he can convince Omicoli to sign with the Komets!

  48. IndyKomet Says:

    I think it’s time to remove puhalski’s picture and add Bingham to the Komets site.

  49. John Says:

    Too bad for Coach Marks….The Greenville Grrrowl went belly up Monday as well. Lost two jobs.

  50. Mark Says:

    Yeah, that is to bad about Coach Marks..I’m sure he will land somewhere…

  51. Greg Says:

    Mark & John-Where did you see this? The ECHL website has nothing nor does the Grrowl website.

  52. Greg Says:

    Thanks Brandon, That’s too bad for coach Marks, I’m sure he’ll be able to land on his feet. Shoot there’s still the Flint job available.

  53. Bob Says:

    Why would a quality coach like John Marks want the Flint job? Will they offer him a discount on toilet paper, since everyone has said the building is a dump. LOL! Of course, he could turn Flint into a respectable team again….given the chance.

  54. Komet Warrior Says:

    I like think this coach might be ok if he hasnt waited to long to get the good players before they are gone my brother said he should be better than mark.

  55. Mark Says:

    I don’t think Coach will have any problem getting good players MAN! And he wasn’t the one who waited until now MAN! It was the Frankes MAN!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: