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Denis Hamlett, from jack of all trades to head coach

Blogging at Pitch Invasion, Peter Wilt looks back on his first hire at the Chicago Fire, recently departed head coach Denis Hamlett. Sunil Gulati, then the MLS Deputy Commissioner, recommended Hamlett for job in 1997, a year after Hamlett was forced to retire as a player after suffering a stroke and year before the yet to named Fire was to debut in MLS. Writes Wilt of his jack of all trades, "He spoke to youth soccer groups, answered phones, sold tickets, attended community functions and scouted MLS and A-League games for a coach that neither of us knew yet.  When I hired Bob Bradley, I told him that I was pleased with Denis' work and would recommend him, but it was up to him.  Bob put Denis on trial, gave him some scouting assignments and worked with him for a period before deciding to hire him as part of his staff. Denis went on to win four U.S. Open Cup Championships, a Supporters Shield and of course the 1998 MLS Cup during his tenure." Wilt, who recently left the WPS's Chicago Red Stars to return to work indoors with the Milwaukee Wave, adds that Hamlett did more for the Fire organization in its history than just about anyone.

 

Read the whole story at Pitch Invasion »

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