Where are they now? Former Billings Outlaws coach Heron O’Neal guiding Salina Liberty | 406mtsports

BILLINGS — Heron O’Neal is no stranger to profitable indoor soccer championships.

The former Billings indoor football coach led his workforce to the leading of the pack on 3 distinctive situations when guiding the to start with variation of the Outlaws.

Now, O’Neal would like to do the same with the Salina (Kansas) Liberty of the Champions Indoor Soccer League.

The Liberty has placed second in the past two Champions Bowl online games played, in 2021 and 2019 (the 2020 time was canceled mainly because of the coronavirus disaster).

“We unquestionably experience like we have improved our roster to get back,” O’Neal advised The Billings Gazette and 406mtsports.com. “We did include Carlos Cavanaugh, who was a head coach in this league with a few different teams. The new players we introduced in and the maturity of the gamers from past year and the veterans we brought in. We are hoping that is a piece we need to get pushed more than to the leading.”

On Sunday, the Liberty (2-) will be getting on the new Billings Outlaws (-1), a initial-calendar year growth crew in the CIF, at To start with Interstate Arena at MetraPark at 5 p.m.

Regrettably for Magic City followers seeking to watch O’Neal coach the Liberty in his outdated stomping grounds at the Metra it will not happen this weekend.

O’Neal and Omaha head coach Marvin Jones were being just about every suspended by the CIF for two league game titles mainly because of a scuffle between the two teams all through pre-sport heat-ups when Salina hosted the Beef on March 26. O’Neal will miss out on this match and one particular a lot more just before returning to the sidelines on April 30 towards Immediate City in Salina.

For O’Neal Sunday’s contest would have been a homecoming. In addition to connecting with his mates from his Outlaws’ days in Billings, it would have also been an option for O’Neal to see his wife, Nisha, and his daughters.

O’Neal and his family members make their house in Billings and he said they have since 2015. The veteran mentor, a native of Chicago, stated he arrives to Billings for the duration of bye months in the period to see his household and they will vacation to see him through the year as nicely.

“I was very a great deal wanting ahead to coming to the match and hunting ahead to viewing my spouse and young children,” O’Neal claimed. “I was pretty substantially on the lookout ahead to getting there with the lovers of the Billings Outlaws that helped us win three national championships. I was eager to see that instant and it was snatched absent by what transpired a few weeks in the past.

“I glimpse forward to every single sport, but was far more so looking forward to coming back again to exactly where I obtained my initial coaching option and gained three countrywide championships.”

O’Neal was the Outlaws coach from 2006-10 and led the staff to a 67-17 record. He also lived in the Magic Metropolis throughout that time.

Overall, the 47-yr-old O’Neal has been coaching for 17 seasons, with all but three of individuals as the head mentor. He has been employed as a coach for 18 years, but the 2020 year was canceled. His teams have created the playoffs each individual calendar year but two.

Right after serving as an assistant in 2005 for the Wyoming Calvary, he was the head mentor in Billings from 2006-10. From there, he was an assistant with the Colorado Ice for a time in 2011. He was then the head coach for the Ice/Crush from 2012-16. In 2017, O’Neal said he was an assistant with the Dodge City Legislation. He joined Salinas in 2018.

Nevertheless, the fifth-calendar year coach of the Liberty will constantly cherish his time with the Billings Outlaws indoor football crew.

When guiding the aged Outlaws squad that pre-dated the initial-year expansion team now playing in the CIF, O’Neal led Billings to league titles in 2006, 2009 and 2010. The 2006 title was in the National Indoor Soccer League and the past two were in the Indoor Football League.

O’Neal reported he’ll constantly root for the Outlaws, with one exception.

“I’ll normally be an Outlaws lover. That’s wherever it started out,” he reported. “When I play them when I’m on one more team, I want my staff to get. But, I’ll eternally be an Outlaws enthusiast.”

Whilst he’s on the two-video game league suspension and with Salina commencing a bye 7 days on April 17, O’Neal plans on traveling back to Billings to see his relatives. O’Neal explained although in Billings he’ll choose in the Outlaws video game April 16 against the Southwest Kansas Storm at the Metra.

“Keith Russ is the (Outlaws) owner and is executing a excellent job and brought in a great coach (Brian Schmidt) and talent,” O’Neal said. “I’m undoubtedly fascinated to see how it all pans out. I’m a admirer of the Outlaws for life, apart from for when we participate in them.”

O’Neal was honored as part of the 2021 class in the Indoor Soccer League Hall of Fame.

He was the IFL Mentor of the Calendar year with the Colorado Ice in 2014.

“Whatever you do, you want to be one particular of the ideal or described as a single of the finest,” O’Neal, also the CIF coach of the yr in 2019, stated. “Now, I can be provided in that.”

And when O’Neal returns to the sidelines, he’ll be intent on chasing that next victory and taking that future move to what he hopes is a league title.

By Harriet