FC Cincinnati got their man.
On Sunday, the club announced that they have hired Ron Jans to be their third head coach in their MLS history. FC Cincy dismissed head coach Alan Koch in May, with Yoann Damet taking over as an interim head coach since then.
“We are excited to get Ron involved with the team as soon as possible and leading us the rest of the season,” said GM Gerard Nijkamp. “He has a pedigree of success and guiding strong clubs, especially through difficult transitions to championships.
“With his experience and expertise in all aspects of being a head coach, I have full confidence that he will be successful at FC Cincinnati. I believe Ron will be a critical part to establishing the foundation for our playing philosophy as well as our performance on the pitch."
Nijkamp was hired as the club's GM at the end of May. Jans and Nijkamp worked together from 2012 to 2017 at PEC Zwolle. Since then, Jans has served as technical director at Eredivisie club FC Groningen for the last two seasons.
Jans has had stints as head coach at seven different clubs including Groningen, Heerenveen, Standard Liege and Zwolle. His most successful tenure was at Groningen, where he qualified for consecutive UEFA Europa Leagues. He returned home to the Netherlands in October 2012, when Jans and Nijkamp first joined forces.
At the time, Nijkamp was PEC Zwolle’s technical director and looking for a new manager – opting for Jans. By the end of their first season, the duo led Zwolle to its first major trophy in club history when they won the KNVB Cup, 5-1, over Ajax. In 2014-15, while Jans led Zwolle to their second-straight KNVB Cup final appearance, the club won also the Johan Cruijff Schaal – the Dutch Super Cup – before the 2015-16 Eredivisie campaign began.
Jans and Nijkamp while at Zwolle | Courtesy of PEC Zwolle Media
Damet is remaining on staff as Jans’ top assistant coach. Additionally, Jack Stern will continue with the club on Jans’ staff in his current role as goalkeeping coach. Both Damet and Stern have signed contract extensions to remain with the club through Dec. 31, 2022. Joining Damet and Stern on Jans’ coaching staff is new FCC assistant Ivar van Dinteren, who replaces Pa Modou Kah. He will formally join the staff in Cincinnati upon receipt of his U.S. work visa.
After playing in USL, Van Dinteren left to take on coaching roles with the PEC Zwolle Academy back in his native Netherlands. From there, he moved on to one of the country’s top amateur teams, SDO Bussum, where he has been the club’s manager since 2017. Most recently, he has added coaching responsibilities at Almere City FC as the Eerste Divisie’s reserve team coach.