Fire name Chicago soccer legend Frank Klopas head coach
Posted on: 05 Dec, 2023 at 04:09 PM
Credit: Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Fire FC named Frank Klopas their head coach on Tuesday.
This will be the fifth time at the helm for Klopas, who was the Fire's head coach from 2011-13 and also filled the job on an interim basis three times. He played for the Fire in their first two seasons (1998-99) and is a member of the Club's Ring of Fire and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.
Except for a few years away, he has been with the club since his playing days in a variety of roles, including serving as interim coach for the final 24 matches of the 2023 season following the dismissal of Ezra Hendrickson after the club started 2-3-5.
"We conducted a thorough process with numerous well-qualified candidates, and we believe that Frank Klopas is the right person to lead the team," said Georg Heitz, the Fire's Sporting Director.
"Frank is hard working, has strong relationships with our players and staff, and knows what it takes to be successful in this League. During the interview process Frank laid out a clear plan to create a winning culture and mentality within the Club, and we are all aligned on the areas that we need to strengthen to be much more competitive in 2024. We will work closely with Frank to improve the roster and finalize his coaching staff for the upcoming season."
The Fire finished 10-14-10 and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
Klopas, 57, has a 49-43-29 regular-season record as head coach of the Fire. He also was the head coach of the Montreal Impact from 2013-15. Under Klopas, the Fire reached the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final in 2011 and the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2012.
"I've never made it a secret how much I care for this wonderful club and city. Chicago is my home, and I would do anything to bring success to the Fire," Klopas said. "At this time, I believe that stepping back onto the sidelines is where I can best help this Club achieve its goals. I'm excited to build a strong culture and a winning mentality within the team, where everyone is committed to a standard of excellence and hard work."
As a player, Klopas was a member of the 1998 Fire team that became the first expansion club to win the MLS Cup.
--Field Level Media