Nashville SC name BJ Callaghan head coach

BJ Callaghan - Nashville SC - hired newser 1

Nashville SC have hired B.J. Callaghan as their next head coach, the club announced Wednesday.

Callaghan, previously an assistant to US men's national team head coach Gregg Berhalter, will officially join the club on July 22. He'll debut nine days later when Nashville begin their 2024 Leagues Cup campaign against Liga MX's Mazatlán FC at GEODIS Park.

"We are so excited to usher in this new era for Nashville Soccer Club with B.J. as our head coach," general manager Mike Jacobs said via a press release. "B.J. has a tremendous amount of experience that spans all levels of soccer at the highest levels of the game and has excelled throughout the MLS ecosystem.

"He is an exceptional leader who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached and brings a hard-working and relentless mentality to our club. B.J. is ready for this opportunity to continue to build and develop a winning culture and is the right person to drive our club’s ambition for success."

Nashville have been led by interim manager Rumba Munthali since parting ways with longtime head coach Gary Smith in May. Smith, who guided the club from their United Soccer League days into their inaugural MLS season in 2020, steered Nashville to four straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berths and the 2023 Leagues Cup final.

Now Nashville have their second-ever MLS head coach in Callaghan, who was on the USMNT coaching staff since 2019. Notably, Callaghan led the USMNT to a Concacaf Nations League title in 2023 as interim manager.

Callaghan previously served as an assistant under Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin from 2014-19.

"Taking the head coach position at Nashville SC is an incredible opportunity and an exciting next step in my career," said Callaghan. "I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Gregg Berhalter for his mentorship and support throughout my time with the US men's national team. The experience I've gained here has been invaluable, and I'm deeply appreciative of the relationships and memories made along the way."

Nashville are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with 26 points (6W-6L-8D) ahead of Wednesday's Matchday 24 meeting with the Columbus Crew (6:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).