Columbus Crew general manager Jim Smith announced May 17 that the club has replaced Coach Tom Fitzgerald and named assistant coach Greg Andrulis interim head coach. After the loss May 16 in New
England, the team fell to 1-3-2 on the season. The Crew announced that ôan extensive and thorough search will be done for the new coach.ö There is no timetable set for the hiring of the new coach.
Andrulis will be considered for the position. "It is never easy when you make a change of this magnitude, especially when it involves such a great person like Tom Fitzgerald," said Smith. "Tom has
been an asset for the team and community, but at this point in time we feel we need to go in a new direction. ôIn no way are we giving up on the season. We owe it to our fans and this community to
push forward with this season. We are very comfortable with Coach Andrulis leading this team in the interim." Fitzgerald had the longest tenure of any MLS coach, having been named coach of the
Crew on Aug. 2, 1996, when he took over for Timo Liekoski with 10 games remaining in the 1996 season. Liekoski had started out the year 6-16. Including this season, Fitzgerald had posted a career
70-67-7 mark in MLS regular season play, a 9-8 record in MLS playoff action and a 7-2-1 mark in U.S. Open Cup play.