Westland High School athletics director Mike George announced that baseball coach Neil Bittel and wrestling coach Mark Niemann have resigned.
Bittel, who coached the Cougars for four seasons, stepped down to accept an intervention specialist position at Thomas Worthington, where he also will teach math.
“The past five years spent at Westland have taught me a lot about myself as an educator and as a coach,” Bittel said. “I really enjoyed coaching the players and watching them grow into young men over the years.
“I believe we made a lot of progress as a program during my tenure, and although we did not reach all of our goals when you look at the records, I think I have had a positive impact on the students at Westland, both on and off the field.”
Under Bittel, Westland finished 17-87. The Cougars went 4-20 overall and 0-15 in the OCC-Central Division this season.
“Coach Bittel was a class act on and off the baseball field,” George said. “He worked extremely hard with the kids (and) was an excellent fundraiser. He raised a lot of money to put into the field. … He was dedicated to the kids and the baseball program.”
Niemann stepped down after one season to help support his ailing father, Rich, who died May 9.
Under Niemann, Westland qualified three wrestlers for the Division I district tournament and nearly had a state qualifier in junior Andrew Sherman, who finished sixth at 182 pounds as the top four advanced to state.
The Cougars went 0-5 in the OCC-Central.
“Coach Niemann is a great guy who loves the sport of wrestling, loves to compete, but at the end of the day, family comes first,” George said. “Due to his father’s illness, that was distracting him and here at Westland we’re all about family first. We wish him the best and the best for his family.”