Crew signs Warzycha to multi-year contract
The Columbus Crew and Hunt Sports Group announced today that they have signed head coach Robert Warzycha to a new multi-year contract. Per club policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
“I believe Robert’s record speaks for itself and that he has unquestionably earned the opportunity to continue leading our club,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “He has injected his vision and personality into our style of play, while perpetuating the culture of excellence we have built in recent years with his effective integration of new talent into our returning core group.”
Warzycha is currently in his third full season as the Crew’s head coach. One of the Black & Gold’s all-time greats on the field, he is now in his 10th season on the club’s coaching staff overall. In the midst of his tenure as an assistant coach, Warzycha also distinguished himself during a 16-game stint as the Crew’s interim head coach from July 12, 2005 through the end of that season. After taking over a 4-10-2 team, he went 7-6-3 the rest of the way.
Overall, Warzycha has posted a 45-29-28 regular-season record on the Crew sidelines and a 55-41-33 mark in all competitions. His .578 regular-season winning percentage is the best in club history, and his teams have fashioned a 30-8-11 record and .724 winning percentage at home.
In his first full season at the helm, Warzycha guided the Crew to the 2009 Supporters’ Shield title, with a 13-7-10 record, and into the quarterfinals of the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League. In recognition of his efforts, he was named a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year honors in 2009.
He followed that up with a 14-8-8 season in 2010 – just the second time in the club’s history that it reached the 50-point plateau – highlighted by a return trip to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and a run to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. The 2011 Crew sits in first place in the Eastern Conference, with an 11-8-7 record and 40 points.
“Since taking over as head coach, Robert has proven himself to be an effective leader on and off the field, and an outstanding teacher capable of getting the most out of his players,” said Clark Hunt, chairman of Hunt Sports Group. “Robert has done a tremendous job leading the Crew through a significant period of transition while guiding the team to first place in the Eastern Conference. I am confident in his ability to win championships, and our family is delighted that Robert will continue his long tenure with the Crew.”
A native of Siemkowice, Poland, Warzycha joined the Crew during its inaugural 1996 season and he remains the club’s all-time career assists leader, with 61. He added 19 goals in regular-season play and finished with two goals and nine assists in 17 career playoff games. A two-time MLS All-Star and the club’s MVP in 2000, Warzycha spent the 2002 U.S. Open Cup championship season as a player/assistant coach, before moving to the sidelines full-time in 2003.
“I want to thank the Hunt Family and Mark McCullers for giving me the opportunity to continue to work for this great organization and with a great group of people,” Warzycha said. “It has been exciting to see our vision taking shape this season, and I’m very happy that we’ll be continuing to work toward our goal of bringing another championship to Columbus. I’m encouraged by the direction we’re headed, and it is rewarding to know that the organization believes in my coaching philosophy.”
Prior to joining the Crew, Warzycha made 47 appearances with the Polish National Team from 1988-95 and enjoyed a three-year stint with Everton of the English Premier League (1991-94).