FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After posting the fewest wins in franchise history this season, coach Steve Nicol and the Revolution parted ways on Monday.
Nicol, who spent 10 seasons with the club and posted a 112-108-81 career record, led the Revolution to a disappointing 5-16-13 record (28 points) in 2011, tied with Vancouver for the lowest point total in MLS.
In the first eight seasons under Nicol, the former Liverpool defender guided the Revolution to eight straight playoff appearances, including appearances in four MLS Cup finals (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007). But in a region where winners are determined by league championships, Nicol’s teams fell short in all four instances.
Nevertheless, Nicol expressed gratitude for the chance to manage the Revolution for the past decade and dwelled upon his experience in Foxborough.
“I’m very thankful to the Krafts for giving me the opportunity to be their head coach,” Nicol said in a press release. “I’ve had some great times and been involved with some great players and great people. My family will always remain part of the Kraft family.”
Nicol’s departure was not entirely unexpected. After the Revolution sunk to the bottom of the standings this season, it appeared that Nicol was in hot water as the club’s win total has fallen in each of the last four seasons.
On Monday, Nicol, along with Revolution owner/investors Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft, met to discuss the coach’s future. Shortly afterward, the team issued a press release announcing Nicol’s departure.
“Robert and I met with Stevie today and we had a productive discussion about this past season and the direction the club needs to go in the future,” Jonathan Kraft said in a press release. “We all agreed a change of direction was needed to reverse the trend of the past couple of years. Stevie was a successful head coach and a tremendous ambassador for the Revolution for the past decade and set a high standard for success, leading us to four conference titles in six years. We thank him for all of his contributions."
Over the course of his 10 seasons in New England, Nicol led the Revolution not only to four conference titles but also secured a U.S. Open Cup championship (2007) and SuperLiga championship (2009). His 301 career games as coach -- all with the Revolution -- is second all-time in MLS history. Additionally, his 112 league wins rank fourth all-time.
The team said it will begin the search for its next manager immediately, but there’s little question that whoever inherits Nicol’s position will have big shoes to fill.