Columbus Crew SC reached north of the border for their next head coach, hiring Wilfried Nancy away from CF Montreal.
"We are thrilled to welcome Wilfried to Columbus as the next head coach of the Crew," Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a news release on Tuesday. "Throughout this process, it was clear that he is a knowledgeable, insightful and innovative coach with extensive experience within the different levels of the North American soccer landscape. We know he is the right person to lead the team back into the postseason as we contend for championships."
While the Crew celebrated Nancy's arrival, Montreal made it clear the organization wasn't happy with his departure. He is taking with him assistant coach Kwame Ampadu, fitness coach Jules Gueguen and video analyst Maxime Chalier, and Montreal said it reached a financial agreement with Columbus.
Nancy, 45, was "contractually bound for the 2023 season," the Montreal club said in a news release.
"Despite the Club's efforts to have Wilfried continue our project, we were forced to accept his decision to leave the organization. We want people who want to be with us and Wilfried has chosen a different path," said Gabriel Gervais, Montreal's president and CEO. "I would like to thank him for all his years with the Club and in particular, for what he accomplished with the first team over the past two seasons. We wish him and his assistants the best of luck in their future careers."
Olivier Renard, Montreal's chief sporting officer, said the hiring process for the next head coach has started.
Montreal named Nancy its head coach on March 8, 2021, continuing a long affiliation. He coached with CF Montreal Academy from 2011-15, then was appointed an assistant coach with the first team.
In Columbus, he will replace Caleb Porter, who was fired on Oct. 10.
Montreal finished the 2022 regular season with a 20-9-5 record and earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Montreal lost to New York City FC in the conference semifinals.
Nancy's overall record with Montreal was 32-21-15.
Columbus was 10-8-16 and finished out of the playoffs in 2022.
--Field Level Media