PHOTO: Bliss Littler steps down from the bench after a 27 year career.
CREDIT: Garrett James Photography
The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announce a change in the management structure of the organization.
Effective immediately, Bliss Littler is stepping down as Head Coach of the franchise, citing the interest of managing personal health concerns that have plagued him the last two and half years. He will remain in his position as General Manager and will focus his attentions on the business side of the operation. Chris Clark has been named Interim Head Coach and will hold that position for the remainder of the season. Leigh Mendelson remains in his current position as Associate Head Coach.
“The team is in excellent hands”, Littler said. “Chris has a strong hockey mind and his vision is obviously in sync with our goals as an organization.” Clark says, “Obviously, first and foremost I want to express that my thoughts are with Bliss during this difficult time. I am humbled and honored that Bliss and the rest of the management staff entrust in me to continue to uphold the highest standard that the Wild have displayed over the last 12 seasons. Leigh and I are excited to continue to work with the great group we have in the locker room.”
Littler came to Wenatchee in the 2012-13 season. In his time with the Wild, he posted a record of 259-136-49 for a win percentage of .639 and led the Wild to their first league championship (BCHL’s Fred Page Cup) in 2017-18. The Wild also won the CJHL’s Doyle Cup that same year. In his 26-season career, he went 836-450-144 (.635).
Littler’s coaching resume is most impressive. It includes championships in the AFHL, AWHL, USHL, and BCHL. He was named Coach of the Year in the AFHL, and twice in the BCHL. He was named GM of the Year in the USHL. He’s guided hundreds of players to NCAA Division I programs and had nearly 30 players selected in the NHL Draft. He leaves the bench as the winningest Head Coach in US Tier I and Tier II junior hockey history.
Littler, though no longer serving as Head Coach, is committed to the growth of the Wild organization and its place in the community. His on-site leadership as General Manager ensures the Wild franchise is in a position of strength for the foreseeable future.