The Fort Wayne Komets are announcing Jesse Kallechy as their new head coach tomorrow, according to Justin Cohn of the Journal Gazette. A press conference to formally introduce him will take place tomorrow at 1:00 EST.
Kallechy replaces Ben Boudreau, who was head coach of the Komets for four years with a 134-96-19-8 regular-season record. During his tenure, the Komets won their first Kelly Cup championship in 2021 and made the playoffs each year, leaving out the COVID-shortened 2019-2020 season, where they finished third in the Central Division.
Kallechy, 33, played for four seasons in the Southern Professional Hockey League as a goalie, the last two with the Huntsville Havoc. He changed his sweater and pads for a suit and stepped behind the bench to serve as the Havoc’s assistant, helping the team go from 11 wins to President’s Cup champion in two years.
That success got him his first head coaching opportunity with the Fayetteville Marksmen, where he again improved a struggling franchise. After sitting in last place the year before, Kallechy took the Marksmen to the playoffs in his first year and to a second-place finish in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season. The latter earned him the SPHL Coach of the Year award.
When longtime Everblades assistant/associate head coach Tad O’Had departed to become the head coach of the Kansas City Mavericks, Florida hired Kallechy to replace him. It was his first time – either as a player or coach – to reach the ECHL level. During his three seasons in Estero, the Everblades made the playoffs all three years and won the last two Kelly Cups.
Kallechy is the fourth Everblades assistant to become an ECHL head coach. O’Had is currently the head coach and general manager with Kansas City. Brad Tapper coached the Adirondack Thunder for a season and spent time as an AHL assistant. Jason Nobili had a 34-game stint coaching the Reading Royals.