Hockey Operations

Chris Ratzloff – Head Coach/General Manager
chris@rochestergrizz.com

Ratzloff begins his second season as Head Coach of the Rochester Grizzlies following a successful 2019-20 season which saw him lead the Grizzlies to a Central Division Championship. Ratzloff became the second Head Coach in the Grizzlies team history on July 23, 2019. A Rochester, MN native, and a John Marshall alum, Ratzloff also played two seasons in the USHL. From there, Ratzloff played four years of DIII hockey at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Following his playing career, Ratzloff went on to coach seven seasons as an assistant at John Marshall HS before heading across town to Rochester Lourdes where he spent two seasons as an assistant coach for Rochester Lourdes Girl’s Hockey team.

Mike Aikens – Assistant Coach 

Aiken is entering his third season as assistant coach of the Grizzlies, after being hired in April of 2018.  After serving as a student assistant at the University of Denver, Aikens began his coaching career in Omaha (USHL) where he served as an assistant with the Omaha Lancers beginning in 1995.  After three seasons, he landed his first Head Coach/General Manager position with the Rochester Mustangs where he was selected to coach in the USHL All-Star Game.  After one season in Rochester, Aikens remained in the USHL serving as Assistant Coach for both the Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks (1999-2000) and Chicago Steel (2000-2001).

Aikens then shifted to the North American Hockey League, where he guided the Billings Bulls over the next four seasons to an impressive 150-59-15 overall record and the two Borne Cup championships.  Prior to coaching the Russell Stover Hockey program 2007-2010, Akiens spent one season in the British Columbia Hockey League where he served as Head Coach/General Manager of the Williams Lake Timberwolves (BCHL) during the 2005-2006 season followed by a stint as the Assistant Coach of the Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL) in 2006-2007.  Aikens was most recently the Head Coach/General Manager of the Omaha Lancers (USHL) from 2011-2013, compiling a .624 win percentage.  Aikens lives in Rochester with his wife, Hope, and his daughters Maren and Brianna.

Austin Balko – Assistant Coach

abalko@rochestergrizz.com

Austin Balko begins his first season with the Rochester Grizzlies working in both the front office and behind the bench. Originally from Midland, MI, Balko is a former DIII player having competed at St. Mary’s University from 2010-2014. In addition, Balko played a handful of professional games in the Federal Hockey league with both the Steel City Warriors and Danville Dashers during the 2014-15 season. After his playing career, Balko found a home behind the bench and in the front office at his Alma Mater, St. Mary’s University. Balko also served as the Assistant Coach for the Utah Outliers in the WSHL during the 2017-18 season. His knowledge of the game of hockey, as well as the operations side of an organization, have allowed him to excel at everything from sales to coaching and teaching players.

Tyler Veen – Scout