Austin FC have their first head coach.
The club announced on Tuesday that Josh Wolff has been named Austin's inaugural manager. The 42-year-old is currently an assistant coach on Gregg Berhalter's US men's national team staff, a position he's held since December. He previously had been an assistant coach under Berhalter with Columbus Crew SC from 2014-18.
“Josh Wolff is a rising star in the coaching ranks of our league, and on behalf of Austin FC we are thrilled to have secured a head coach with Josh’s exceptional character and soccer acumen to lead our Club,” Austin FC chairman and CEO Anthony Precourt in a statement. “Josh’s track record as a player and coach have prepared him for this day. When we previously worked closely together, his teams qualified for the playoffs four out of five years, played in two of the past four Eastern Conference Finals and won an Eastern Conference Championship in 2015 with an attractive, attacking, possession-oriented playing style. This makes Josh the right individual to lead Austin FC to even greater success."
Austin FC will join MLS in 2021, becoming the 27th franchise in the league after Inter Miami and Nashville SC join in 2020. Interest is high in Austin, as the club earned an MLS-record last month with the largest number of season ticket membership deposits secured in a single day.
“It is a tremendous honor to join Austin FC and begin the process of building Austin’s team into a world class club for all of Austin to enjoy," Wolff said. "My family and I want to thank Anthony Precourt for granting us this amazing opportunity to be a part of this incredible city and this extraordinary undertaking."
Wolff will remain on Berhalter's USMNT staff through the end of the year. A search for his replacement is underway.
“I’m thrilled for both Josh and Austin FC," Berhalter said. "His continual development as a coach, hard work, and dedication to his craft has certainly earned him this opportunity. The attention to detail and meticulous preparation are qualities that will help him be successful on and off the field. He will be a great asset to Austin FC and their soccer community, and we all wish him the best of luck."
A standout striker for the US from 1999-2008, Wolff played on the 2002 and 2006 World Cup teams after making his name with the Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards. He finished his playing career with D.C. United in 2012 and worked on Ben Olsen’s staff in the capital city before moving west to join Gregg Berhalter at Crew SC ahead of the 2014 MLS season.