COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew today announced Wilfried Nancy [pronounced: wil-fhreed NAHN-see] as the Club’s head coach. The 2022 MLS Coach of the Year finalist becomes the eighth full-time head coach in Crew history, following Timo Liekoski (1995-96), Tom Fitzgerald (1996-01), Greg Andrulis (2001-05), Sigi Schmid (2005-08), Robert Warzycha (2008-13), Gregg Berhalter (2013-18), and Caleb Porter (2019-22). 

Nancy comes to Columbus after most recently serving as head coach for CF Montreal during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. His start date will commence upon visa issuance. The Columbus Crew agreed to terms with CF Montréal, compensating the team for the release of Nancy and select members of the coaching staff, and the Crew’s ability to negotiate with those individuals.

QUOTABLES:

Tim Bezbatchenko – Columbus Crew President & General Manager

“We are thrilled to welcome Wilfried to Columbus as the next head coach of the Crew. 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. 

Our top priority was ensuring that we created alignment from the First Team, through Crew 2 and to the Academy with coaches, players and staff. We believe Wilfried’s background as a developer of players will give him the perspective and understanding into building a winning culture centered around learning and collaboration.”

Wilfried Nancy - Columbus Crew Head Coach

“I would like to thank Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Dr. Pete Edwards, and Tim Bezbatchenko for this opportunity. It is truly an honor to be the next head coach for the Crew, and my family and I are excited to settle in and become part of the Columbus community. I am looking forward to working closely with Crew 2 and the Academy program. I’m eager to get started and welcome the players back on January 6 as we begin our quest to bring another trophy to Columbus.” 

Dee and Jimmy Haslam, and Dr. Pete Edwards – Columbus Crew Investor-Operators

“We are excited to welcome Wilfried and his family to the Crew. As he has demonstrated in his time in MLS, he is a strong leader who knows how to maximize the potential of his players. We know Wilfried and Bez are aligned in their commitment to winning championships, and we are confident that together they can build a team that will strongly compete to bring another trophy to Columbus.”

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In 2022, Nancy led Montreal to a club-best, regular-season record of 20-9-5. With 65 total points, Montreal finished second in the Eastern Conference and third overall in MLS, just two points shy of the Supporters’ Shield winners. Montreal’s 20 wins were second overall in the league, and his team finished in the top five for goals scored (63). Montreal went unbeaten in eight matches from mid-March to mid-May, and again from mid-July to late August. They dropped just one game in the final 15 matches of the regular season, going 11-1-3. Nancy finished second in voting for the 2022 MLS Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year award, just one-tenth of a percentage point behind Philadelphia Union’s Jim Curtain.

Under his tutelage, six players were named to Canada’s final roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Nancy was appointed Montreal’s head coach on March 8, 2021. In his first season at the helm, Montreal lifted the Voyageurs Cup with a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship.

In 2011, Nancy joined Montreal’s Academy and over the course of 10 years, held head coaching roles for the U-18s (2011-13), the U-21s (2014), and the U-16s (2014-15) before being elevated to First Team assistant in January of 2016, a role he held until being promoted to head coach.

The 45-year-old holds USSF Pro, UEFA A and Canadian Soccer Association A licenses. In 2014, he obtained the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) diploma.

Born in France, Nancy had a professional playing career that spanned 10 years. From 1995-2005, the defender represented French clubs Sporting Club Toulon, Beaucairois, Raon-l’Etape, Ivry, Noisy-le-Sec, Chatellerault and Orleans.

Wilfried Nancy Autographed Ball

Wilfried Nancy Autographed Ball

Enter for a chance to win a ball signed by the new head coach of your Columbus Crew, Wilfried Nancy!

With excitement for the global game at its peak, soccer fans are encouraged to secure their 2023 Columbus Crew Season Ticket Memberships now. Fans interested in purchasing Season Ticket Memberships for the 2023 MLS season are encouraged to email seasontickets@columbuscrew.com, call 614-447-2739, or visit www.columbuscrew.com/tickets/memberships to get connected with a Season Ticket Member representative.

Currently available is the 2023 Season Premier Holiday Pack, which includes two limited-edition scarves and four tickets to the Crew’s 2023 home opener at Lower.com Field, starting at just $159. Perfect for gifting, Holiday Packs can be purchased here.

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