Hiring a head coach with no coaching experience is a gamble, yet one that New England and its new hiring Jay Heaps are convinced is worth taking.
"I think that with risk comes reward," Heaps said yesterday at a press conference that introduced him as the sixth head coach in team history. “And I think that what I may lack in MLS experience, I think some of the intangibles I have completely make up for that. I don’t think it’s a risk because I know what I’m going to bring to the table. I think that if I’m sitting where you are, yeah, I could absolutely say it’s a risk. But I know what I bring every day. I know what kind of people I’m going to get around me to help succeed. That, to me, is so important."
The four-time MLS Cup finalist won just five of 34 matches in 2011, which prompted the dismissal of head coach Steve Nicol and the promotions of Brian Bilello to team president and another former Revs' player, Mike Burns, to general manager. About a dozen candidates were interviewed for the head coaching job, but in addition to playing his entire nine-year career for the Revs and working its game broadcasts as analyst, Heaps submitted a rather strong recommendation: a phone call from Mike Krzyzewski, who coached Heaps on the Duke University basketball team.
“He gave the highest recommendation," said Robert Kraft. "We feel there is a new energy and culture here, and it’s something we’re excited about."