Alumni Relations

Chris Treft

Chris Treft

Chris Treft

Following His Dream

Chris Treft had always dreamed of one day being a professional hockey broadcaster. “My grandpa would take me to Fort Wayne Komets games, starting when I was 18-months-old, so he could sneak beer and peanuts in my diaper bag,” said Treft.

Once a little kid with a big dream, Treft turned that dream into reality. Currently the play-by-play broadcaster and director of communications for the Atlanta Gladiators of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), he is able to do all the things he once dreamed about. When he’s not calling the games on the radio, he runs the team’s social media and works on graphic design, videos, public relations, and much more. All that work does nothing but fuels his passion. Treft says, “I wear a lot of hats, but it’s all things I cherish doing.” He credits the University for helping him learn the skills that got him so far.

Treft began his studies at IPFW in 2010 and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in media and public communications with a minor in public relations and digital imaging. While he attended the university, he was a member of the IPFW hockey team all four years and also worked with the Mastodon Minutes News.

One project he worked on really set his dream into motion. “As part of my television production class with Art Herbig (who I owe A LOT too for being where I am today), I produced a short documentary film about my roommate at the time, then Komets Captain Kaleigh Schrock. It was called A Day in The Life, and I followed him around and gave fans a behind the scenes look into his life. I spend a ton of time on it, took it very seriously and It turned out very well. I had Kaleigh show the Komets soon after, and they loved it. The next thing you know, I was an intern with the Komets doing video work. I told them my hopes to be on the air, and two weeks later I was doing color commentary on TV broadcasts for the Komets.” Because of that work, he became the backup broadcaster in the American Hockey League (AHL), which is the AAA feeder league of the National Hockey League. That job eventually him to where he is today. “And it all started with a project for my class at IPFW”.

His overall goal is to be the “voice” of an NHL team someday, and he isn’t too far away from reaching it. “I'm two levels of professional hockey away from realizing my life-long dream, and I wouldn't be anywhere close if it wasn't for my time and education from the university,” he said. “Just because it’s a smaller school and doesn't have some of the big-time features of larger schools doesn’t mean their students can’t do great things. I took a situation that might not have been ideal for an aspiring hockey broadcaster, made the most of it, and used the wonderful professors and small-school advantages to the fullest extent to help me reach my goals.”