In somewhat of a surprise move, the New England Revolution have reportedly hired former Revs defender Jay Heaps to replace Steve Nicol as head coach of the team.
Heaps, 35, retired as a player in 2009 and spent the past season as the color commentator for the Revolution’s local TV broadcasts. He has no coaching experience.
He does have a 10-year MLS career under his belt, during which he set the club record for appearances (294), scored 17 goals from his right back position, and earned four caps for the U.S. national team.
Nicol was dismissed after the Revs finished tied for last in MLS with a 5-16-13 record.
Heaps joins a recent crop of former players who’ve become coaches in MLS, including Ben Olsen (DC United), Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City), Frank Klopas (Chicago Fire), and Jesse Marsch (Montreal Impact), among others.
The hyper-athletic Heaps was a striker at Duke University (where he also played basketball, as a walk-on), but was converted to outside back in the pros.
He went to NCAA Final Fours with both the basketball and soccer teams at Duke.