Denis Hamlett named Montreal Impact assistant coach

Hamlett was on Chicago's coaching staff from 1998 to 2009

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced on Saturday that Denis Hamlett has been named an assistant coach with the club’s first team.

Hamlett, 42, from Costa Rica, most recently served as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2011, helping the club in its inaugural season in MLS, but spent most of his coaching career with the Chicago Fire. 

As the Fire’s head coach in 2008 and 2009, he helped the team to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals, as well as the 2009 SuperLiga Final, going 24-17-19 in regular season play and 30-22-22 across all competitions.

He started his coaching career as an assistant, serving from 1998 to 2007 with the Chicago Fire, where he won the MLS Cup in 1998, a Supporters’ Shield in 2003 and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.

In 2010, Hamlett took up the post of interim head coach with the men's soccer team at the Illinois Institute of Technology, leading them to the conference final.

Hamlett is a 1991 graduate and soccer alumnus from George Mason, and was inducted into the university’s sports hall of fame in 2006.

“We are extremely excited to add a coach like Denis Hamlett to our coaching staff,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “We know the experience and knowledge that he brings will be a great addition to the team. Many of us have worked with Denis before, making him a very good fit for our group.”

As a player, Hamlett was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in 1996, 12th overall, in Major League Soccer's inaugural draft. He won the BIC Tough Defender of the Year award that season, making 31 appearances. His playing career ended the following year when he suffered a stroke caused by a blood protein deficiency.

Prior to his joining MLS, Hamlett played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1992-1993, appearing in 21 games. He also played indoor soccer for four seasons, three of which were with the Harrisburg Heat of the National Professional Soccer League.

Hamlett, who is currently in Florida for the MLS Combine, joins a coaching staff that includes head coach Jesse Marsch, assistant coaches Mike Sorber and Mauro Biello, goalkeeper coach Preston Burpo, and physical preparation coach Adam Rotchstein.

Nicolas Gagnon joins the Academy

The Montreal Impact also announced the nomination of Nicolas Gagnon as assistant coach for the U21 team and technical assistant of the Impact Soccer Schools.

Prior to joining the Impact, Gagnon was most notably an assistant of the technical director of the Richelieu-Yamaska regional soccer association. He also worked with the South Shore and Estrie regional soccer associations, as well as served as an assistant coach with the U14 Quebec provincial team in 2006.

Gagnon also traveled to Brazil for 14 months, where he interned with different first division clubs. He spent more than six months amongst the technical staff at Grêmio, but also had stints with clubs Cruzeiro, Vasco de Gama, Goias and Internacional de Porto Alegre.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in sports kinesiology from the University of Sherbrooke from 2008.

Olivier Brett, former assistant coach with the U21 team, recently resigned from this position to focus efforts on his role as director of the Impact Soccer Schools.

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