WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Nov. 18, 2009 – Laurie Calloway is back.
In a press conference this afternoon at Krause Gentle corporate headquarters, the Des Moines Menace officially announced that Calloway is the team’s new head coach and the Menace Academy’s Director of Coaching.
The Birmingham, England native returns to Des Moines seven years after he led the 2002 Menace to an undefeated regular season.
“I’m extremely excited to be back,” Calloway said. “In the USL, this is the best organization, in my opinion. I can’t wait to get started.”
A former coach in Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1), Calloway coached the Menace for two seasons.
In 2001, Des Moines took fourth place in the Premier Development League’s playoffs, after going 11-7-2. The 2002 Menace followed with the most successful regular season in franchise history. Led by the PDL’s leading scorer, Tomas Boltnar, Des Moines went 15-0-3 and outscored opponents 68-19, before an early postseason exit. Calloway earned PDL Coach of the Year honors; Boltnar was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.
Calloway resigned from the Menace on Nov. 18, 2002 – seven years ago today – to take on a new opportunity with the expansion Syracuse Salty Dogs. He guided them to a 26-20-10 mark in two seasons before the USL-1 team folded in October 2004.
For the next three seasons, Calloway headed up another New York-based USL-1 club, the Rochester Raging Rhinos. Under Calloway, the Rhinos went 40-21-23 and made it to the playoffs each year, advancing to the 2006 final. Calloway parted ways with the Rhinos following the 2007 season, focusing on youth soccer.
In taking over the reins for the Menace, he leaves his Technical Director positions for the Rochester Futbol Club and McQuaid Jesuit High School (15-0-1 this fall season).
Before his first run with the Menace, Calloway was the head coach for the San Jose Clash during the first two seasons of Major League Soccer (1996-97). The Clash won the first game in league history and advanced to the inaugural MLS playoffs. Calloway left during the 1997 season with a 21-29 record.
Calloway has amassed more than 200 wins in a coaching career that started in 1978. His professional playing career spanned from 1962 to 1979 and included stints with six English teams and his final five seasons with the North American Soccer League’s San Jose Earthquakes.
“It’s exciting to bring back Laurie,” said Menace owner Kyle Krause. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. It’s a unique opportunity to bring back a coach who’s coached and played at the highest level in the United States.”
Calloway emerged the top candidate from a worldwide search that drew more than 200 applicants. Calloway did not throw his hat in the ring until after several conversations with Todd Meiners. The Menace’s general manager originally called the team’s former coach to ask Calloway if he knew of any candidates like himself.
“We were dedicated to finding the right fit for the position, and Calloway encompassed everything we were looking for,” Meiners said. “After a thorough search and conversations with many qualified candidates, Calloway was our natural choice. His knowledge of the sport paired with his insight and leadership will bring great energy to our youth and PDL programs. Calloway will be a tremendous mentor for our coaches and players and we are excited about the future of the Menace Soccer Club.”
Video of Press Conference