Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rapids All-Time Team: Head Coach

The head coach for the Rapids All-Time Team is Gary Smith.

How Joined: Hired as a liaison for the Arsenal Academy.

Years In Colorado: 2008 through present

There have been 6 total head coaches in Colorado's history, but there were only two under consideration for this spot, Glenn 'Mooch' Myernick and Gary Smith.

Gary Smith joined the Rapids in February before the 2008 season through Arsenal with the idea that he would work with the Arsenal youth academy program based out of DSG Park. He was almost immediately promoted to assistant coach under Fernando Clavijo though, a move rumored to have been made by the Front Office and not Claivjo. When Clavijo's family issues forced him to leave the team Gary was given the title of interim head coach for the last third of the 2008 season, then had the interim label removed shortly after the end of the season.

He took over a Rapids side that was teetering on the edge of playoff elimination and kept them ion the race until the final day. 2009 played out similarly as Colorado was eliminated with their loss to FSL in the final game. In 2010 Gary finally had all the pieces and while the team only finished 7th overall they clinched a playoff berth with 2 games to play, and of course they took that momentum all the way to their first MLS Cup victory. This year the team has played very similar to prior years under Gary Smith, and once again we are on the edge of clinching a playoff spot or being eliminated with 2 games left.

In comparison to the rest of the coaches in team history only Mooch comes close. Myernick took over a worse team and let them to MLS Cup in his first year (losing to D.C.), and he also took the Rapids to their only U.S. Open Cup final (losing to Rochester). However Gary Smith's teams average 1.44 points per game in league play, the best in team history (Mooch's teams averaged 1.35). The MLS Cup combined with the best overall record beats Mooch's two finals for the all-time best coach.

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