COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew today announced that Eric Quill has been named as an Assistant Coach on Head Coach Caleb Porter’s technical staff. Quill joins the Crew after serving as the head coach for USL League One side North Texas SC. The Club additionally announced that Blair Gavin has been promoted to Assistant Coach.
“We are excited to welcome Eric to Columbus,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Eric is a proven winner with experience coaching at multiple levels of the game, and we believe his skillset as a coach will be great addition to our staff.”
Quill arrives in Columbus following Ezra Hendrickson’s appointment as head coach at Chicago Fire FC. Gavin fills a position that opened up following the departure of Ben Cross, who was recently announced as an assistant coach for FC Dallas.
“We would like to take this time to thank Ben for his contributions to the Club,” said Bezbatchenko. “Since 2016, Ben worked tirelessly with both the Academy and later the First Team, winning MLS Cup in 2020 and Campeones Cup in 2021. We wish him and his family all the best in Dallas.”
Said Crew Head Coach Caleb Porter: “I would like to thank Ezra and Ben for their positive service to our coaching staff and to the players during their time in Columbus. I have enjoyed working with them both and appreciate all that they have done for myself and for the Club. I wish them all the best in their new opportunities.”
“I am extremely excited for the addition of two new assistant coaches to our staff,” continued Porter. “Eric brings a wealth of experience not only as a former MLS player, but more importantly now as a coach who has been grinding to learn the craft and earn this opportunity. Throughout the interview process, it was clear that Eric has a unique hunger and passion which has been reflected in every step he’s taken. As an Academy Coach then as head coach for North Texas SC, you see a common thread in his ability to develop players and to win. It was easy to see why he has done so well and why he will be such a great fit for our coaching staff. Eric will bring a strong understanding of the game tactically, and I know he will have great relationships with our players. I’m energized to work alongside Eric and want to welcome him and his family to Columbus.”
Quill joined North Texas SC, the USL League One affiliate of FC Dallas, on January 24, 2019. That season, Quill led North Texas SC to the top of the regular season table with a 17-6-5 record, finishing 10 points ahead of second place Lansing Ignite. In the championship match, North Texas SC defeated Greenville Triumph SC 1-0 to capture the title. For his efforts, Quill was named USL League One Coach of the Year for the inaugural season.
Prior to joining North Texas SC, Quill, who holds a U.S. Soccer Federation A coaching license, served as the Technical Director of Texas Soccer Club Houston. In his role, he oversaw player and coaching development, in addition to the technical training curriculum. In 2017, as Academy Director and U-18 Head Coach, Quill guided Texans SC Houston to the U.S. Development Academy U-18 national championship, capturing USSDA Coach of the Year honors in the process.
During his tenure with North Texas SC and Texans SC Houston, Quill oversaw the development of young players including Ricardo Pepi, Chris Richards and Tanner Tessman.
At the international level, Quill has previously served as an assistant for the United States U-15 and U-19 national teams.
A midfielder by trade, Quill was allocated to the Tampa Bay Mutiny for the 1997 season after playing one season of collegiate soccer at Clemson. During his nine seasons in MLS, Quill scored 12 goals and added 31 assists in 143 matches collectively for the Mutiny, Kansas City Wizards, NY/NY Metrostars and the Dallas Burn.
A U.S. Youth International, Quill represented the United States at both the U-16 and U-20 levels and was part of the USMNT’s player pool from 2001-03.
“I’m equally excited that Blair has been promoted to the assistant coach position,” said Porter. “Like Eric, Blair is a former MLS player who also holds an A coaching license and has earned this opportunity through his work on our staff this past season. Blair has a high-level knowledge of the game that has proven to be a tremendous asset to our preparation, training, and scouting processes.”
Gavin joined the Crew prior to the start of the 2021 season as the First Team Video Coach Analyst from Phoenix Rising FC of the USL Championship, where he spent the 2018-2020 seasons as an assistant coach.
Gavin began his professional career when he was selected 10th overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Chivas USA following a standout collegiate career at the University of Akron. In his rookie season, Gavin started all 16 matches in which he appeared, scoring three goals and tallying one assist.
In addition to his time with Chivas USA, the Scottsdale, Arizona native had a professional career that spanned eight seasons and included stints with the New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC.Gavin has previously served in the capacity of assistant coach for the Crew, stepping in for three months in the spring while Hendrickson was on a medical leave of absence.
“Blair stepped in for Ezra during the regular season, and that gave us a strong feeling he would transition to full-time assistant coach seamlessly,” said Porter. “I am excited for him to take this next step in his young coaching career.”
Quill and Gavin join assistant coaches Tim Hanley and Pablo Moreira to round out Porter’s coaching staff.
The Black & Gold are set to open the 2022 MLS season by hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Lower.com Field on Saturday, February 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The 2022 season will be the Black & Gold’s 27th in MLS and the first full season at Lower.com Field, located in Astor Park. Fans looking to experience Crew matches have a number of options as Season Ticket Membership for the 2022, which include benefits such as private, member-only events, a 10 percent discount at the Crew Shop, monthly, interest free payment plans, the ability to purchase discounted parking, pre-sale access to all events at Lower.com Field, Historic Crew Stadium and FirstEnergy Stadium, and a dedicated account manager and service representative, are now on sale.
Fans can also purchase Nine-Match Ticket Plans by placing a deposit for as little as $100, providing fans limited game selection flexibility and access to pre-sales. Fans wanting to attend matches with single match tickets can sign up for single match ticket priority which will give access to purchase before the general public.
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