Longtime U.S. Junior Coach Littler Steps Down
Updated: Apr 10
The Junior Hockey Podcast doesn't stray outside of college-bound hockey in the United States and U.S. players, but noteworthy yesterday that Wenatchee Wild (British Columbia Hockey League) head coach Bliss Littler stepped down after 27 years behind the bench. The Wild are the only U.S-based team in the BCHL. The press release from the Wild indicates Littler is stepping down to address a health issue but will continue as general manager of the organization.
Littler, a Minot, N.D., native, spent most of his coaching career in the U.S. Junior leagues getting his first head coaching position with the Billings Bulls of the American Frontier Hockey League (Tier II) in 1993. He stayed with Billings through the 2000 season as the AFHL transitioned to the America West Hockey League.
He then spent a decade in the United States Hockey League with Topeka, Tri-City and Omaha before taking his position with Wenatchee in 2012, which was then a member of the North American Hockey League. The Wild moved to the BCHL in 2015 when the NAHL's western division was no longer viable.
Littler won his sole league title in 2018 in the BCHL.
Jeff Nygaard is the editor of The Junior Hockey Podcast. He covers Junior and college-bound hockey as a traditional “beat,” in addition to breaking news stories during the course of the year.
He has a vast amount of experience on the business and organizational side of the sport as a former owner-operator of two Junior organizations and two youth clubs and has served as executive director or commissioner of the Eastern Hockey League and the United States Premier Hockey League.
A Fergus Falls, Minn., native, Nygaard grew up playing for the Fergus Falls Youth Hockey Association, Fergus Falls High School, Fergus Falls Community College and North Dakota State University programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, story ideas, and anonymous tips.