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Firecats maintain silence on AF1

October 9, 2009
By RYAN RYLES, Special to the Breeze

With less than 24 hours left before the Florida Firecats must submit an application to the new Arena Football 1 league for participation in the 2010 season, the Firecats have yet to make a decision whether to be part of it.

Former Firecats head coach Kevin Bouis, however, knows what he wants.

"I'm definitely interested in an opportunity to coach in the new league," he said. "Of course my preference would be for it to be on the sidelines of the Florida Firecats."

As of Thursday, Firecats principle owners Chris and Andy Vallozzi were unavailable for comment. Like all Firecats fans, Bouis is as much in the dark about the decision as everyone else.

"I have not been informed of any decision on their part to join the AF1," Bouis said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Bouis' contract expired at the end of last season, one of his worst as head coach of the Firecats. The 100-game winning coach who was a part of their 2004 Championship squad knew big changes were coming to arena football, so his plan all along was to take a wait-and-see attitude before making a final decision on his own future plans.

"Ultimately, I'm going to see how this new league plays out. I have been in contact with teams from other leagues, but I want to see what other teams in Florida form in the (AF1)," Bouis said. "Ideally, it's my desire to stay and coach for a Florida team. I'm from Florida; my wife and family live in Florida and I want to coach for a team in Florida."

In the meantime, Bouis has been enjoying the offseason, playing a little golf and preparing for whatever opportunities come his way for the future.

"Right now, I'm just enjoying my time off and looking forward to my next opportunity," he said. "I want to be ready for it when it comes my way."

The Firecats were 7-9 last season and qualified for the playoffs, but with the organization owing the league reportedly $100,000 in unpaid dues, they weren't allowed to participate. Applications to join the Arena Football 1 league for its inaugural season must be submitted no later than today.



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