The New England Revolution introduced new head coach Jay Heaps today.
The name sound familar? It should. Heaps played for the Revolution from 2001 to 2009, a span of 243 games. That number of games is a Revolution record.
Heaps, a defender, had 17 career goals spanning from 1999-2009. He was part of three Revolution teams that made it to the MLS Cup.
A New England native, Heaps graduated from Duke University in 1998. He was named the MLS Rookie of the Year with the Miami Fusion before being traded to the Revs in 2001.
He spent last season as the color commentator for Revs games on Comcast SportsNet New England, but is ready to make the giant leap to coaching.
"Now, if I sat here and said that I was honored to take this job, that would be a complete understatement," Heaps told reporters at Gillette Stadium early Wednesday. "I think its pretty clear that I grew up in this area, I was born and raised in this area, so I think my heart has always been with this organization. There hasnt been a time on the field as a player for nine years here where I didnt want to win for this family or win for this organization. To me that meant everything to me. "
Heaps takes over a Revs team in desperate need of help, and will have to get started soon if there's to be any real progress next season.
Let the real tests begin.
"I want to make sure Im bringing in the right players," Heaps said of challenges he expects to face early on. "Like I mentioned, theres a nucleus of players, theres a core group of players, but now we have to add to that. We have to make sure this team knows that were not thinking three-four years (down the road), were thinking now.
"Were thinking how do we add the right players and the right chemistry to build this team from day one. Thats the challenge. Thats what Im excited about. I think as an analyst its easier to pick the holes, but now as a coach you have to fill those holes."