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New England names Heaps new head coach

New England named former defender Jay Heaps year-old ended his 11-year playing career with the Revolution.

Heaps entered Major League Soccer in 1999 as the second overall pick and spent two seasons with the Miami Fusion. He played for New England from 2001-09, and becomes the sixth coach in Revolution history, replacing departed Steve Nicol.

"For more than a decade, Jay was as passionate, tough and tireless as any player who's ever worn the Revolution jersey," Revolution Investor/Operator Jonathan Kraft said. "During his Revs career, no one was more determined to win or revered for his work ethic and leadership, both on and off the field.

"We are excited that Jay will bring these characteristics, along with a keen intellect, to his new position as our head coach."

Heaps is the second-youngest active head coach in MLS behind D.C. United coach Ben Olsen, and the first former Revolution player to coach the club.

"I am thrilled to accept this position," Heaps said. "Throughout my playing career and with my involvement with the team after I retired, I've made no secret about my commitment to the Revolution, and I'm honored to be entrusted with this responsibility as head coach."

Heaps was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 1999, was an all-star in his second season, and helped New England reach four MLS Cup finals and started all four matches - all losses.

New England did capture the U.S. Open Cup and SuperLiga during Heaps' career. Heaps finished his career with 17 goals and 34 assists. He played four matches for the U.S., and also played internationally at the Under-17 and U-20 levels.

Heaps played soccer and basketball at Duke, and former basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski believed New England found a solid new coach.

"He's an outstanding leader, and for management to have the confidence in such a young guy - that they saw a special guy - I think it'll pay off greatly," said Krzyzewski, who tied Bob Knight atop the all-time Division I wins list in men's basketball Saturday with his 902nd win.

Heaps gained collegiate coaching experience during his MLS playing days with the Revolution. In 2004, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Boston College, and followed that with a two-year stint at Northeastern in 2005-06.