Laurie Calloway - Coaching Career

Coaching Career

With his retirement from playing, Calloway became a full-time coach, a job he would remain with for the next thirty years. As previously mentioned, he held his first head coaching position with the Southern California Lazers of the ASL during 1978, its only season in existence. When he retired from the Earthquakes in 1979, he then held various assistant coaching positions before being selected for his second head coaching position with the California Surf of the NASL. The team hired him in 1981 to replace Peter Wall. However, the Surf lasted only to the end of the 1981 season before folding.

Two years later, on March 14, 1983, the Seattle Sounders (NASL) hired Calloway as their new head coach. For the third time in his career, he was the head coach for a team in its last year in existence. Calloway took the team to a 12-18 record and third place in the Western Division. The Sounders folded at the end of the 1983 season, then the NASL collapsed at the end of the 1984 season. However, Peter Bridgwater, owner of the Earthquakes entered the Earthquakes in the Western Soccer Alliance, a loose collection of previously unaffiliated amateur and semi-pro “super clubs”. Bridgwater hired Calloway who took the Earthquakes to a 4-1-2 record and the alliance title. That was the best the Earthquakes did until it folded after the 1988 season. That season the Earthquakes finished third in the alliance, its best finish since the 1985 season.

With the collapse of the Earthquakes, the WSA awarded a new Bay Area team, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks in 1989. In 1991, the Blackhawks hired Calloway as the team’s second head coach. He then took the Blackhawks to the 1991 APSL championship. That victory put the Blackhawks into the 1992 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. Under Calloway’s direction, the Blackhawks went to the semifinals, only to lose to Club América on a 4-3 aggregate. Calloway coached the Blackhawks through the end of the 1992 season. The 1992 season was also characterized by antagonism between Calloway and a young forward by the name of Eric Wynalda. The feud between the two culminated when Wynalda launched into a tirade against Calloway after he was subbed out of a game. Calloway kicked Wynalda off the team and Wynalda left the U.S. for Germany two weeks later.

The announcement of the formation of a new U.S. division one league, Major League Soccer, Peter Bridgwater became instrumental in the formation of a new San Jose franchise. On December 7, 1995, he signed Calloway as the first head coach of the new team, the San Jose Clash. Ironically, given the problems Calloway had with Wynalda during their time together with the Blackhawks, the club signed Wynalda on January 23, 1996. The team continued to sign previous Blackhawks players, including Paul Bravo, John Doyle and Troy Dayak. While Calloway took these players to great success with the Blackhawks, he failed with the Clash. On April 6, 1996, the team began with a bang, it won the first game in league history on a goal by Wynalda, also the league’s first. However, the team finished the season at 15-17 and the 1997 season went even worse. Eric Wynalda again became a source of friction with Calloway. At one point Wynalda hired an airplane to tow a banner demanding the team fire Calloway. Calloway also made numerous lineup changes which prevented the team from developing cohesive play. On June 25, 1997, midway through the season, Bridgwater had enough and fired Calloway. He left the team with a 21-29 record.

Calloway then moved to the U.S. Fourth Division club Des Moines Menace. In 2002, Calloway was league Coach of the Year when he took the Menace to an undefeated regular season record.

On November 18, 2002, Calloway resigned from Des Moines to take job with expansion U.S. second division club Syracuse Salty Dogs. The team lasted only two seasons (2003 and 2004) before folding in October 2004. Calloway took the team to a 26-20-10 record in its two seasons.

Two months later, on December 14, 2004, the Rochester Raging Rhinos, also a second division club, named Calloway as the club’s new coach. On October 23, 2006, the Rhinos signed Calloway to three-year extension of his contract. In 2008, he officially resigned as head coach of the Rhinos.

During a November 18, 2009 press conference, the Des Moines Menace named Calloway the PDL Head Coach and Menace Academy's Director of Coaching.

This is Calloway's second stint with the USL Premier Development Club. Owner of the Menace Kyle Krause had the following to say about Calloway, “It’s exciting to bring back Laurie. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. It’s a unique opportunity to bring back a coach who’s coached and played at the highest level in the United States.”

On July 20, 2012, the Des Moines Menace announced that they would not renew Calloway's contract. Team owner, Kyle Krause, said, “To keep up with the ever-growing changes within our Menace programs, we have decided to move the Menace in a different direction with the structure of our PDL coaching roles and Laurie Calloway’s contract will not be renewed”.

Read more about this topic:  Laurie Calloway

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