Bobby Bruch, who directed the Marina girls' soccer team to three consecutive Southern Section Division I titles, almost certainly will not return to coach the Vikings next season.
Not only is he applying for college coaching positions, including the women's soccer job at Pepperdine, but a Southern Section rule that forbids coaching club teams that include players with remaining eligibility at a coach's school will prevent him from returning.
Bruch coaches the Shamrocks, an under-16 club team in Mission Viejo, and Marina sophomores Megan Orach and Anne Giallonardo are expected to join the Shamrocks this week.
Marina Athletic Director Larry Doyle said Monday that unless the section rule changes, Bruch could not return. Doyle said the position is open for applicants.
"It's something he's got to do," Doyle said. "What do you tell a guy like that, 'You have to stay here and make piddling money'?"
Southern Section Commissioner Dean Crowley said he couldn't see such a rule change occurring because high school principals who govern the section don't want to encourage year-round programs.
Bruch was 83-8-8 in four seasons at Marina and coached the Vikings to a 2-0 victory over Claremont in the Division I title game Friday. Marina became only the second major division girls' team to win three consecutive section titles and extended the Vikings' unbeaten streak to 61 games.
Only Agoura (91, from 1985-90) and Mission Viejo (84, from 1986-89) had longer streaks in the section.
Melody Peterson played a terrific game--24 points, six rebounds, four assists--in Mater Dei's 57-53 victory against Ventura Buena for its first Southern Section Division I-A championship. But no one knew just how terrific at the time, not even Peterson.
Peterson's grandfather, Edgar Meyers, retired in Miami, had died before the Buena game started. Meyers' widow, Margaret, called Peterson's mother, Sherry, with the news. Sherry didn't tell Melody until well after the game. Peterson had told reporters after the game--and before she was informed--that she had dedicated Saturday's performance to him.
"I was the only one of the four children (on her mother's side) to meet him," Peterson said. "My mom had talked with him a week before, and he told her to tell me to score a lot of points."
Peterson will be unable to attend the funeral, but said she is dedicating the rest of the playoffs to both grandparents.
Fountain Valley still has to be shaking its head over its 5-4 loss to Simi Valley Royal in the Southern Section Division I boys' soccer championship game Friday. The Barons' had 23 shots on goals; Royal had 11.
"We had all the chances, but they won," said Fountain Valley forward Joey Vasquez, who scored two goals in the game. "But the better team won, I guess."
Staff writers Dave McKibben and Mike Terry contributed to this story.