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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A new coach in town

     December 31, 1980 -- The Buffalo Stallions had gotten off to a relatively good start upon arriving in the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1979. The team had a 17-15 record in the regular season, and lost to Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.

     However, the 1980-81 season didn't start off to well. The team was only 5-10 as the New Year approached, and general manager Sal DeRosa decided to get himself a new coach. So he resigned from his duties as head coach, and installed Ray Klivecka in that position.

     Klivecka was relatively well-known in soccer circles, especially in upstate New York. After achieving All-American status at Long Island University, he had coached the outdoor game in nearby Rochester for the Lancers. Klivecka also coached the Cosmos when that team was the glamour franchise of the North American Soccer League.

     Klivecka got the Stallions back to .500, as the Stallions finished the season at 20-20. He also was great for public relations, as he was quick with a quip and friendly to the media. That helped make him popular in the area.

     But he couldn't get the Stallions out of the first round of the playoffs either. By the way, Klivecka later turned up as a guidance counselor and PE/Health teacher in Boca Raton, Fla.

--- Budd Bailey

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