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Parents angry over soccer coach firing

Loomis' Gregg Thompson is a former Olympian
By: Penne Usher, Gold Country News Correspondent
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A well-liked soccer coach and former Olympian has been removed from the Placer United Soccer Club and parents aren’t happy about it.

Gregg Thompson, former U.S. Olympic soccer team member and U.S. National soccer team player, had been the director of coaching for the club and was dismissed unexpectedly during a board meeting last month.  The decision, some say, was unwarranted.

Until recently Emily Collins had two children in the club. Collins’ older daughter and the U16 team left the club last week as a result of the board’s actions, including the firing of Thompson, she said.

Her younger daughter still plays for Placer United.

“It is quite clear to those who have been paying attention that (the board) wanted Gregg Thompson out of the club, and they would go to any lengths to make it happen,” Collins said. “From making the false accusation of misappropriation of funds against him that was later proven false, and then unanimously voting in 100 percent support of Gregg in late July, to holding closed session (and firing Gregg).”

When contacted, Thompson declined to comment for the article, other than to say, “"I've been advised by my attorney to refrain from commenting about what has happened and any legal action I may be taking in the future."

Charles Hammock has a 12-year-old son that plays with Placer United, but Thompson did not directly coach his son.

“I thought he did a great job,” Hammock said.  I was impressed from a soccer perspective.”

Hammock has called for a complete revamp of the Placer United Board citing several questionable actions including the sudden firing of Thompson.

In an email to board members including Chairman Jeff Flint, Treasurer Jeanne Mabry, Jonna Ward, Beth Meuser, Nelle Thompson and Marguerite Mosnier, Hammock requests a special election to replace board members.

“I would like to request that you add a special election for all Placer United board positions to the agenda of the upcoming AGM on January 10,” Hammock wrote. “We want the members to decide who leads Placer United moving forward.”

The Loomis News obtained one response from board member Mosnier.

“To my fellow board members, let’s not be so egotistical as to think the Club won’t survive and thrive if we ALL step down,” the email reads.  “I will hope that you all can share the member’s big picture here. It is time for a wholesale change at the board level.”

Collins agrees with Hammock that a new board should be elected.

“I personally find what they have done to the Thompsons and the club to meet their own private agenda completely unforgivable, and I hope that the members will come together and force a vote for a new board immediately for the betterment of the club,” Collins said.

According to the Indiana University website, Thompson won soccer letters at the university in 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1982; was co-captain of the soccer team in 1982; and was All-Big Ten in 1981 and 1982. He was a member of 1982 NCAA championship team; and scored both goals in Indiana University’s 2-1, eight-overtime win over Duke. The site states he was a member of 1984 U.S. Olympic team and a member of the U.S. National Team 1984-1986.

Attempts to reach board members for comment were unsuccessful as of press time.