Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bliss Littler Fired After Three Seasons at Omaha

Bliss Littler won't be behind the bench when the Omaha Lancers play the Lincoln Stars at the Ice Box Friday night.

That's because Littler was fired on Wednesday just a couple months into his fourth season in Omaha. The former Tri-City coach was 9-8-2 with the Lancers this season. Omaha is in third place in the Western Conference, just five points behind Lincoln.

Littler had a 117-60-22 record with Omaha, the best of any Western Conference team since he arrived. Owner and president Ben Robert basically told the Omaha World-Herald that he "lost confidence in Littler."

I wonder if this decision was more of a personal thing or me shocked. It's rare enough to see USHL coaches lose their jobs in the middle of the year, but for a team that was just a few points out of the standings lead? Crazy. Omaha assistant Mike Aikens will fill in for the rest of the year as interim head coach.

Edit:  Click here to read an article about Littler's dismissal from the Omaha World Herald.  Interesting quote from Littler that BT mentioned above:  ""They just told me I was relieved of my duties," Littler said. "He (Robert) said 'I've lost confidence in you, you're relieved of your duties immediately.' It was short, sweet, he said what he had to say, got up and left."


nutz4puckz said...

I thought the same thing about the timing of that and how it seemed very odd to do that now. Seems like there must be more to it. What a way for the interim guy to get his feet wet Friday night.

Yeti said...

Thanks for putting this article up, BT.

Yeah, I think this firing caught a lot of people off guard, especially considering that Littler just signed a three-year extension before this season started.

However, the knock with Littler was that his teams underachieved considering the talent they had. Also, his teams over the years (including his time with the Tri-City Storm) never did go anywhere in the playoffs. A 5-9 postseason record isn't going to cut it in Omaha, where they expect championships every season.

It's funny, the only people not shocked about this firing are Omaha Lancers fans. If you go to their message board, you'll see that they have been wanting him gone for quite awhile now. Many of them stated that they would not go to another Lancers game until Littler was let go. Ultimately, they got their wish.

But yeah, the timing seems weird considering the extension he just signed over the summer. You have to wonder if there is more to this story.