You can watch the full press conference in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew’s next head coach was officially announced Tuesday morning at Lower.com Field.
The Crew announced former CF Montreal boss Wilfried Nancy as the eighth full-time head coach in Black & Gold history. Tuesday morning, CF Montreal confirmed Nancy’s departure to Columbus and that three members of his staff will join him at the Crew: Assistant coach Kwame Ampadu, fitness coach Jules Gueguen, and video analyst Maxime Chalier. The two clubs came to a financial agreement due to Nancy’s Montreal contract not ending until after the 2023 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome Wilfried to Columbus as the next head coach of the Crew,” said club president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko in a statement. “Throughout this process, it was clear that he is a knowledgeable, insightful and innovative coach with extensive experience within the different levels of the North American soccer landscape. We know he is the right person to lead the team back into the postseason as we contend for championships.”
“It is truly an honor to be the next head coach for the Crew,” said Nancy. “My family and I are excited to settle in and become part of the Columbus community.”
The Crew’s search for a new boss began two months ago after former head coach Caleb Porter was sacked one day after a Decision Day loss to Orlando City knocked the Black & Gold out of MLS Cup Playoff contention. Porter managed Columbus for four seasons and led them to an MLS Cup title in 2020 and the club’s first international trophy, the Campeones Cup, in 2021.
Nancy, 45, will come to Columbus after two seasons with Montreal in his first managerial position. The Frenchman guided Montreal to a Canadian Championship in 2021 and to a second place finish in the MLS Eastern Conference in the 2022 regular season. He served as the Montreal assistant from 2016 to 2021 before amassing 37 wins in two years in Canada.
“I want my team to be bold all the time,” said Nancy. “It means no matter the score, the idea is to stay focused on the task. I want my players to be able to be courageous under pressure.”
The Crew now has its first non-American head coach since Robert Warzycha in 2013. Nancy is also set to be the first Black head coach in club history and is one of two Black head coach in MLS, along with Chicago Fire boss and former Crew assistant Ezra Hendrickson.
The Black & Gold will go into 2023 looking for its first playoff appearance since 2020, when the club won MLS Cup in the COVID-shortened season. They will also have to guide through the inaugural expanded Leagues Cup, a World Cup-style tournament set to take place in the summer featuring each MLS and Liga MX club.