(Courtesy of the Fort Worth Brahmas) - Under the direction of head coach Al Sims, the Fort Worth Brahmas showed dramatic improvement during their 2004-2005 season. The veteran bench boss helped the Brahmas to an eleven win increase in 2004-2005 and kept the Brahmas in the thick of the Central Hockey League playoff race until the final week of the season.
The Brahmas are banking on Sims to help lead the organization to an even better season in 2005-2006, and thus they have rewarded the former National Hockey League player and head coach with a new one-year contract that will keep him on the Brahmas bench through the coming season.
The new contract also dictates that in addition to his coaching duties, Sims will retain his title as team's Director of Hockey Operations. As the Director of Hockey Operations, Sims will be responsible for all aspects of player recruitment, roster development, salary cap management, and player personnel transactions. The 2004-2005 campaign was Sims' first full season as the Brahmas head coach. The positive impact that Sims had on the team was obvious, as Fort Worth's record jumped from 15-40-9 in 2003-2004 to 26-28-6 in 2004-2005.
Brahmas general manager Mike Barack believes that Sims has his team on the right track. "Al showed last season, that when given the opportunity to recruit his own team, he is capable of putting together a club that can compete with the very best in the Central Hockey League. Our organization has a great deal of confidence that Al has our team moving in the right direction, and we are excited to have him stay in Fort Worth," Barack stated.
Fort Worth's majority owner, New York businessman Stuart Fraser, says the primary objective for Sims this season is very simple. "To be blunt," Fraser explained, "we are counting on Al to get our team to the playoffs. The Brahmas haven't played in a postseason game in over three years, and the number one goal for Al this year is to get our team a playoff berth. We feel that he can lead us to the playoffs, and that's why he has been given a new contract. Our entire organization will be more focused than ever on our on ice product, and, ultimately, the measuring stick for Al's coaching performance will be whether or not we can qualify for the postseason. "
Sims is eagerly looking forward to the coming season, and he understands the challenge ahead of him. "We made definite headway last year," said Sims. "I am very proud of what we accomplished as a team. But, I am by no means satisfied. This organization, and more importantly our loyal fans and sponsors, deserve a playoff team. And that's what I'm determined to give them. We are going to make every effort to build the Brahmas into a championship contending team. I can't wait until October gets here and we can get started."
The 2005-2006 campaign will be Sims' thirteenth as a professional head coach. In addition to the Brahmas, Sims has been in charge of the Fort Wayne Komets (IHL), San Jose Sharks (NHL), Milwaukee Admirals (IHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), and Corpus Christi Rayz (CHL). He also worked as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (NHL) for three seasons from 1993-1996. Sims, a native of Toronto, Ontario, originally came to the Brahmas in December of 2003 and has a record of 38-53-12 as the Brahmas head coach. Overall, Sims has a cumulative regular season mark of 427-379-83 as a professional head coach. Sims has already signed two players to contracts for the 2005-2006 season.
Goaltender Larry Sterling, who played with Brahmas in 2004-2005, and defenseman Konrad Brand, a former member of the San Angelo Saints, both agreed to contract terms earlier this off season. Sims is hopeful that more player signings will be announced soon. "I started recruiting players for this season on the day after our 2004-2005 season ended. So far, we've got two players signed whom I feel can help us win. I'm getting very close on several others, and I anticipate more signings in the immediate future," he said.
The Brahmas will open their ninth season in franchise history and their fifth in the CHL in late October of 2005. Season tickets for the club's 2005-2006 season are on sale now. For more information, please contact the Brahmas office at (817) 336-4423.