CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy has been hired by Columbus Crew as the team’s new head coach.
The 45-year-old Nancy succeeds Caleb Porter, who was fired one day after the regular season ended Oct. 9 with the Crew (10-8-16) finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, missing out on the playoffs for a second straight year.
Crew general manager Tim Bezbatchenko emphasized when the search began that his priority was a coach who both understood his role in the alignment of the club — from MLS to MLS Next Pro to the academy level — and had experience coaching successfully in MLS.
Nancy, meanwhile, led Montreal to second place in the East with a 20-9-5 record. Montreal opened the playoffs by beating Orlando 2-0 before falling 3-1 to New York City FC in the East semifinal.
Despite Montreal’s middle-of-the-pack spending on its roster, Nancy took his team from 10th in the East with a 12-12-10 record in 2021 to being one of the top teams in the league this past season.
The regular season saw Montreal set franchise records for wins (20), points (65) and goals scored (63), among other marks. Its 35 points away from home was also an MLS record in the non-shootout era.
Prior to being named Montreal’s head coach, Nancy was an assistant with the first team beginning in 2016. Before that, he coached in the Montreal academy for five seasons.
Nancy narrowly lost to Philadelphia’s Jim Curtin in balloting for the 2022 Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Award. Curtin had 23.57 per cent of the vote by MLS technical staff, media, and players, while Nancy had 23.47 per cent.