A few minutes after the Condors finished their season with a 5-1 loss to San Francisco on Saturday night, Condors coach Matt O'Dette told his team he would not be returning next season. It was not his decision.
“To be honest I let them know I'm not coming back next year,” he replied when asked what he told his team after a tough game and tough season. “I'm not being renewed. I knew a few days ago. We wanted to finish strong, finish as pros and play right until the end.
“I faked it all week and didn't tell anybody. There's no point in hiding it now. That's what I told the guys. It was emotional. It was a tough speech to give the guys. That's that. It's disappointing.”
O'Dette said he was told by Condors President Matthew Riley on Monday.
“You try to keep it under you hat and hope the players don't get wind of it because you want them to play hard for you until the end,” O'Dette said.
The Condors issued a release late Saturday night after O'Dette broke the news of his release.
“We are in a results-based business, an this is a decision that is purely an issue of wins and losses,” Riley said in the release. “This is in no way a judgement of the work and dedication that Coach O'Dette has shown to this organization for the past two seasons I personally have a great deal of respect for “Odie' and have no doubt that he will find success beyond his time with the Condors.”
The release said rthere woudl be no further comment until a press conference on Tuesday afternoon
Saturday night's game at Rabobank Arena brought a conclusion to a second straight sub-par season.
The Condors finished the season with a 22-44-6 record, by far the worst in the ECHL. And worse than last season when the Condors went 24-41-7 in O'Dette's first year as a head coach.
"It was nice seeing guys get rewraeded and called up and things like that,” he said of the positives. “It's experience,. It's (pause) there's not a tougher place to coach in this league than Bakersfield. It's difficult and it;s difficult for many different reasons. It's prepared me for anything.
"Basically, I can take on the world now and I know that. I'm ready to move on.”