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Waves Jettison Coach, General Manager

October 31, 2000|DAVE McKIBBEN

The Orange County Waves A-League soccer team will return for the 2001 season, but with a new coach and general manager, team owner Steve Peacock said Monday.

After the season ended in September, with the Waves failing to make the playoffs, Peacock removed Rick Brown as general manager and Erik Kirsch as coach. Brown has been temporarily replaced by Sam Kaloustian, president and general manager of the San Diego Flash, which is also owned by Peacock. Kirsch was asked to stay with the team in a different capacity, but he declined.

Kirsch said he was notified of his firing by a letter.

"After all I gave to this organization, you think they could have at least given me a phone call," said Kirsch, who also coached the previous Orange County franchise, the Zodiac, for one season. "My little girl had heart surgery during the season and I only missed one practice. I gave up hours with her for this franchise and this is how I'm treated."

Kirsch also claims the team owes him $11,000 in salary.

"There's an honest disagreement there," Peacock said. "It's a legal issue."

Peacock, who purchased the team in January from the league, said he is looking for a coach from within the local community. He acknowledged that former player Jose Vasquez, a Santa Ana High graduate and an assistant at Santa Ana College, is a candidate.

Although the Waves had a 12-15-1 record and lost a substantial amount of money last season, Peacock said better days are ahead.

"I have no regrets about acquiring this franchise and being involved in this market," he said. "We will make a difference here."

Peacock said he plans for the team to continue playing its games at Santa Ana Stadium.

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