Mad Anthonys is celebrating its 60th anniversary by selecting longtime local leaders as recipients of its highest annual honor. State Senator David Long (pictured) and the Fort Wayne Komets’ six-man ownership team, including Scott Sproat, brothers Stephen, Michael, Richard, David and William Franke, will be honored as Mad Anthonys 2017 Red Coat recipients. Mad Anthonys will officially recognize the group at its annual Red Coat dinner, sponsored by Frontier Communications in June. It will celebrate its 60th anniversary on June 24 with the charity golf event sponsored by Lutheran Health Network.
Long has served in the Indiana State Senate since first being elected to represent district 16 in 1996, and has served as President Pro Tem since 2007. He’s also served as general counsel for Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne Inc. since 1997, and been an active volunteer with several area organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne.
The Franke brothers became owners of the Komets at one of the franchise’s most challenging periods and – along with Sproat, who joined the ownership group in 2001 – have helped turn it into one of the most popular and successful minor league franchises in sports. When the previous owners moved the franchise to Albany, New York, in the summer of 1990, the Franke brothers purchased an International Hockey League team based in Flint, Michigan and relocated it to Fort Wayne under the Komets name and identity.
Since then, the franchise has won six league championships, five regular season titles and earned nine trips to the league finals. The Komets have also been named league Member Club of the Year five times and consistently rank as one of the leaders in minor league pro hockey attendance, averaging more than 7,000 fans per home game over the past 14 seasons.
They join an internationally renowned list of previous Red Coat recipients from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics, including Neil Armstrong, John Wooden, Bob Knight, Gene Keady, Peyton Manning and Vice President Mike Pence. All funds raised by Mad Anthonys Children’s Foundation will support the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House.