Dirksen out as Owls GM

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 10:23 AM

After one season leading the Forest City Owls’ organization, Cory Dirksen was dismissed as its general manager.

Dirksen posted the change on his Facebook page.

“One door closes, another will hopefully open,” the post read. “Ready to move close to family and friends. Now just need a job to make it happen.”

Owls’ owner Ken Silver confirmed the management change Wednesday.

“When Cory started, we set some goals and his job was dependent on meeting those goals and they weren’t met,” Silver said.

Silver said attendance at McNair Field this year was down approximately 100 fans per game.

“You can’t have that,” Silver said. “That was the major goal and we didn’t come close.”

Dirksen came to Forest City after spending stints with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA, the Windy City Thunderbolts and Rio Grande Valley White-Wings, both Minor League baseball teams.

He came in following a 17-32 season in 2013 where the Owls missed the playoffs for the first time since the franchise moved from Spartanburg in 2008.

This season, the Owls finished third in the West Division and advanced to the Coastal Plain League playoffs under first-year manager Andrew Ciencin. They lost a best-of-three game series with Gastonia — the other team owned by Silver — in the first round.

Dirksen changed the atmosphere of McNair Field on game day by bringing in new food vendors and adding more “in-game entertainment.”

It was an atmosphere Silver said did not work for the organization.

As Gastonia was eliminated by West Division champion Florence on Tuesday, Silver said his management team will spend time evaluating what to do next in Forest City.

“We’re going to regroup over the next few days and see what direction we want to go,” Silver said.

He said he had started looking at many different options for the management of the Owls.

“The options are to certainly bring in more people or to take the people we have and move them up,” Silver said. “Bringing in a new General Manager is an option but we want to take a few days. 

“If you can imagine the option, it is on the table.”