The Gulf Coast Hockey League was a short lived professional ice hockey league that existed only for the 2001-02 season.



The season was short lived due to the GCHL hockey league folding however the player's were kept by Texarkana and paid as pro's that were used to feed the Shreveport Mudbugs. This team was undefeated in league play until a team put together by Ben Dier and Shawn Gralish came down to play them after getting pummeled the first game the team from the Midwest know as the Fitzgerald Freighter's handed them a 3-2 loss. Gralish was asked to join the team after coach Van Tassle had never witnessed his team so frustrated by one player he had to recruit the legend! Notable players of the Texarkana Bandits included Shane Fukushima, Chris Ross, Erik Maksimenko, Shawn Gralish and coach Colby Van Tassle. Texarkana decided to enter the U.S. National Adult Elite tournament in Fon Du Lac that year after the league folded but continued to pay the players and even gave them a free trip to Mardi Gras as a bonus. Captain Fukushima now coaches in the USHL. Maksimenko tallied 21 goals and 15 assists. Ross finished the year with 18 goals and 18 assists with a +/- of +20. Bob Miele had 10 goals and 10 assists with a +/- of +7. Center Shawn Gralish tallied a total of 10 goals and 15 assists in 12 games and +/- of + 22 with the Bandits to go along with 69 pims. The (Colonel) Derek Kern famous for his stint with US national Roller hockey team had 15 goals and 22 assist in 14 games.

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