Rochester Grizzlies head coach, general manager leaving team; new coach to be announced soon

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Grizzlies have announced that head coach and general manager, Chris Ratzloff is leaving the team and heading to another league.

Ratzloff will be the new head coach and general manager for the Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), according to the Grizzlies.

Ratzloff was hired on July 23, 2019 and was the second Head Coach/GM in franchise history. He has led the Grizzlies to a record of 142-28-10 in four seasons behind the bench.

Ratzloff has led the Grizzlies to three Central Division Titles, two Fraser Cup Finals, and the Franchise’s first Fraser Cup Championship during the 2021-22 season.

Ratzloff has also been honored as the NA3HL Coach of the Year during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

A native of Rochester and a John Marshall alum, Ratzloff played two seasons in the USHL as a member of the Des Moines Buccaneers before playing DIII hockey at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for four years. After playing, Ratzloff returned to his alma mater to coach for seven seasons as an assistant at John Marshall before heading across town to Rochester Lourdes, where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach for Lourdes Girl’s Hockey team.

Ratzloff will join the Chippewa Steel as their third head coach in team history. The Steel finished the 2022-23 season with a record of 31-27-5 and made the Robertson Cup Playoffs for the first time in their five-year history.

“I’d like to thank the Patrick family and the Cooper family, and Steve Howard for the opportunity to coach in Rochester,” mentioned Ratzloff. “I would also like to thank Justin Fisher, Hampus Sjodahl, and the rest of the Bruins staff for the support they have given us. Special thanks to Mike Aikens and Tyler Veen for being great to work with and for the major contributions to the culture we have built, along with Ken Wickelgren and all the Grizzlies staff. I’m excited to see the Grizzlies continue to do great things and look forward to following Casey Mignone and building on his foundation in Chippewa.”

The Grizzlies have identified a new head coach, and an announcement will be made in the coming days.