Brian Gratz was introduced as Greenville’s second head coach in franchise history on July 7, 2015 and enters his third season with the Swamp Rabbits overall after serving as an assistant coach during the 2014-15 campaign. He boasts more than nine years of coaching experience overall and seven years at the helm of a professional organization.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Gratz has spent time in the ECHL, Central Hockey League (CHL), Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) and at the collegiate level. He has compiled a record of 149-120-23 as a professional head coach with two post-season championships to his credit prior to the 2015-16 season.
Gratz began his coaching career as an assistant with the Reading Royals in 2007. The following season, he was named head coach and general manager of the Indiana Ice Miners of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL), where he earned 2007-2008 MAHL Coach of the Year honors and won the inaugural league championship. Gratz continued his early success by leading the Jersey Rockhoppers to the 2009 EPHL Championship a year later.
After spending the 2009-10 season as head goalie coach and assistant at Penn State University, Gratz was named head coach and general manager for the Dayton Gems (CHL) in 2010-11. In his first of two seasons, he increased the team’s win percentage by more than 16 percent and led the Gems to a berth in the 2010-11 playoffs. He was also named to the CHL Competition Committee in May of 2011.
For the 2012-13 campaign, Gratz served as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Bloomington Blaze (CHL), and led the league in total player call-ups to the ECHL and AHL. He continued to serve as Bloomington’s head coach in 2013-14 when the organization joined the SPHL.
Prior to his coaching career, Gratz was a goaltender for parts of three seasons in the ECHL, SPHL and United Hockey League (UHL). He graduated from Penn State University with degrees in Finance and Economics in 2004. Gratz was also member of four consecutive ACHA National Championship teams as a goaltender at Penn State.
Troy Schwab is in his second season with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. He was introduced on July 15, 2015, less than two months after completing a tremendous six-year professional playing career. Schwab spent time in the Central Hockey League (CHL), DEL2 German league and ECHL as a player, with more than 350 regular-season games to his credit.
A native of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Schwab tallied an impressive 60 points (19g, 41a) in 70 regular-season games with Toledo last season, helping the club to 50 wins and the 2015 Brabham Cup title. He added 1.02 points per game (22 points) in 21 playoff contests and led the Walleye to the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals against South Carolina.
A former 5’7, 180-pound forward, Schwab spent three seasons in the CHL from 2010-2014 with Wichita and Denver, recording 1.25 points per game (232 points) over 186 combined contests. He boasted career-bests in goals (25), assists (71), points (96) and penalty minutes (81) during the 2013-14 campaign with Denver.
Schwab began his pro career on October 17, 2009 when he debuted with the Johnstown Chiefs, one year prior to the franchise’s relocation to Greenville. He made 67 appearances during his inaugural season and earned a team-best 35 assists, and was third on the club with 53 points.
Prior to turning pro, Schwab played four seasons at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan from 2005-2009. He served as an alternate captain during his sophomore campaign and was named team captain prior to his junior and senior seasons.