Joël Bats is in his second season with the Impact and first season as assistant coach. He was the first team goalkeeper coach in 2018, after being appointed on January 10.
In his first year in 2018, Bats worked with a young quartet of goalkeepers and helped Evan Bush record one of his best career seasons, being named the Impact Defensive player of the year and MLS Audi Player Index Top Goalkeeper.
Bats had previously spent the last 17 seasons training Olympique Lyonnais' goalkeepers, in the French top division, including several international players that helped the club win prestigious trophies, such as Grégory Coupet (2000-2008), Rémy Vercoutre (2002-2014), Hugo Lloris (2008-2012) and Anthony Lopes (2012-2017).
Originally from Mont-de-Marsan, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, he was part of the historic run that saw Lyon win seven Ligue 1 championships between 2002 and 2008, while also winning two Coupes de France in 2008 and 2012, one Coupe de la Ligue in 2001 and seven Trophées des Champions.
After seven seasons between the goalposts with Paris Saint-Germain, Bats started his coaching career in 1992 with the Parisian club, coaching the goalkeepers until 1994 before serving as assistant coach under Luis Fernández during two seasons. He was then promoted and acted as co-head coach with Ricardo Gomez from 1996 to 1998, leading the team to the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue in 1998, while also reaching the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and finishing as the Ligue 1 runners-up in 1997.
He also served as head coach of Chateauroux, in France’s second division, during the 1998/99 season. He holds the UEFA Pro Licence.
Developed at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, Bats had an outstanding playing career as a goalkeeper, making his professional debut in 1976 after two seasons with the reserve team. Following four seasons with Sochaux, he played five years with Auxerre, starting 184 games.
In 1985, Bats signed with PSG and helped the club win its first ever French first division title. He was the starting goalkeeper until retiring in 1992, after 285 games in the Parisian outfit.
At the international level, Bats appeared in 50 games with the France national team, making his debut with Les Bleus on September 7, 1983, against Denmark. He won the 1984 Euro and helped France finish third in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, in Mexico.