The Erie Otters have fired head coach Robbie Ftorek.
The announcement was made Thursday, one day after the club suffered their fourth straight defeat; a 4-3 overtime loss to the Plymouth Whalers.
"Robbie has a distinguished career in coaching and is one of the classiest people in the game," Otters Managing Partner and General Manager Sherry Bassin said. "He is a great mentor on and off the ice. I decided after considerable thought to make this difficult decision and to move in a different direction. The entire Otters family has the utmost respect for Robbie, Wendy and their family and expect that he will go on to bigger and better opportunities."
Ftorek will be replaced by Kris Knoblauch, the former coach of the Kootenay Ice who led that team to the Western Hockey League title in 2011.
Knoblauch will make his debut with the team Friday at Sault Ste. Marie. Peter Sidorkiewicz will remain as an assistant coach.
Ftorek was in his sixth season as head coach of the Otters. He led the Otters to their third-best win total in franchise history with a 40-win campaign during the 2010-2011 season.
The 60-year-old finishes with a 139-184-24 mark in Erie.