COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew Interim General Manager Mark McCullers announced today that The Crew and Head Coach Greg Andrulis have agreed to a new contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The Crew organization is very fortunate to have the services of a coach and person the caliber of Greg Andrulis," said McCullers. "The turnaround of this team from missing the playoffs in 2003 to the substantial accomplishment of the 2004 season was remarkable. I very much look forward to working with Greg to build on that foundation and achieve our specific goal of bringing an MLS championship to The Crew."
Andrulis just completed his fourth season, third full year, at the helm of The Crew after taking over six games into the 2001 season. He was named the 2004 MLS Coach of the Year after leading Columbus to a 12-5-13 record, the club's first Eastern Conference regular-season title and its first Supporters' Shield for the best overall record in the league.
"On behalf of Hunt Sports Group, we are pleased to have Greg Andrulis continue as head coach of the Columbus Crew," said Hunt Sports President John Wagner. "Greg has achieved a great deal of success during his four-year tenure with The Crew and we are looking forward to even greater success in the future."
Andrulis also helped the Black & Gold end the year on a MLS-record 18-game regular-season unbeaten streak. The unbeaten streak, which The Crew will have a chance to extend in the 2005 season opener, bettered the old record of 15, set by Los Angeles over the course of two seasons (1997-98), and the single-season record of 12, held by four teams.
"I'm thrilled to continue as head coach of the Columbus Crew," said Andrulis. "We have some unfinished business that will drive us toward MLS Cup in 2005. I look forward to working closely with Mark McCullers in building a championship team for Columbus. I want to thank Mark and the Hunt Sports Group - Lamar Hunt, Clark Hunt, John Wagner - for their continued support."
The 46-year-old Andrulis owns a MLS career record of 45-33-30 and a .556 winning percentage, the sixth best winning percentage in MLS history. He also has a 2-4-3 MLS playoff mark and a 7-4-0 U.S. Open Cup record. Andrulis helped lead the organization to its first championship in 2002, winning the U.S. Open Cup.
Andrulis joined The Crew during its inaugural 1996 season and then served as Tom Fitzgerald's top assistant for more than four years before being promoted to interim head coach on May 17, 2001. Andrulis went on to guide Columbus to a 12-4-4 record to end the 2001 season and had the interim tag removed on October 25, 2001.
Andrulis holds a USSF 'A' coaching license as well as an Advanced National Diploma from the NSCAA. He is currently a member of the U.S. National Team's Goalkeeping Staff.
Prior to joining The Crew, Andrulis spent 12 seasons (1985-96) as the head coach at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio. While at Wright State he oversaw the program's ascension from Division II to Division I in 1987 and compiled a 134-72-28 record (.632 winning percentage), making him the school's all-time winningest coach.
A Connecticut native, Andrulis earned a B. S. degree in Psychology from Eastern Connecticut State University. After spending a year as an assistant coach at his alma mater, he moved to Springfield (Mass.) College, where he coached the junior varsity and freshmen teams while earning a master's degree in counseling. Andrulis also spent three years (1982-84) as an assistant coach at Clemson University (S.C.), helping lead the Tigers to an NCAA Division I National Championship in 1984, and recruiting many of the players who won the title again in 1987. He and his wife, Lorrie, reside in Miamisburg, Ohio, with their son, Austin, and daughter, Maggie.