After 10 years, 301 games and four trips to the MLS Cup final, Steve Nicol is out as New England Revolution coach.
The club and the coach "mutually decided to part ways" today, the team said in a statement.
Nicol, 49, took over the Revs in 2002 and immediately led them to the first of four Eastern Conference championships. They also reached MLS' championship game in 2005, '06 and '07, but fell short of the prize each time.
But as the core of players that keyed New England's success over that half-decade fell apart, so did the club's results. The Revs have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and tied for the fewest points in the league this year.
Nicol's 10-year tenure with New England represented the longest stretch by a coach with a single club in league history.
“Robert [Kraft] and I met with Stevie today and we had a productive discussion about this past season and the direction the club needs to go in the future,” owner Jonathan Kraft said. “We all agreed a change of direction was needed to reverse the trend of the past couple of years. Stevie was a successful head coach and a tremendous ambassador for the Revolution for the past decade and set a high standard for success, leading us to four conference titles in six years. We thank him for all of his contributions.”
Known in the Gillette Stadium press box for his accommodating attitude
and deep Scottish brogue, Nicol was a professional player from 1979-99.
He spent 14 years with England's Liverpool, where he made 343
appearances and became a fan favorite.
He made 27 appearances for the Scottish national team over eight years.