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Retired Chicago Fire defender Eric Gehrig hired by club as assistant coach

One day after announcing the end of his playing career, former Chicago Fire defender Eric Gehrig was named an assistant coach at the club.

Gehrig, 29, announced he had called it quits on his playing career in an Instagram post on Tuesday. The Chicagoland native began his career in 2011 with Columbus Crew SC, racking up 46 regular season appearances with the club before moving to Chicago ahead of the 2015 season.

He made 25 appearances, all of which were starts, in his first season with the Fire, earning the club’s Defender of the Year award. He only saw limited playing time in 2016, appearing in just five regular-season matches.

Prior to turning pro, Gehrig played four years at Loyola University Chicago and was a part of the Fire PDL squad that reached the PDL Championship game in 2009.

Gehrig was serving as an assistant on head coach Veljko Paunovic’s staff on a trial basis prior to Wednesday’s news. He now formally joins a Fire coaching staff that includes assistants Marko Mitrovic and Aleksander Saric.