TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC fans received some shocking news Tuesday afternoon as head coach Greg Vanney will step down from his role as head coach and technical director.
Vanney, 46, was out of contract this season. The club’s all-time winningest coach owned an overall record of 112 wins, 61 losses, and 55 draws in all competitions since being promoted to his role in 2014. He reached the MLS Cup Final three times in the past four seasons—highlighted by achieving the league’s first-ever treble in 2017.
“I want to thank Mr. Tanenbaum, the board of directors and MLSE for their unwavering support for the past seven years. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunate to work for one of the best ownership groups in all of sports. I also want to thank Bill and Ali for their support and leadership and most importantly the relationships we’ve developed over the years,” said Greg Vanney in a statement. “Thank you to all of the TFC staff and players for the incredible experiences we’ve shared together during this journey. I’m forever grateful to each of you. Lastly, to the TFC Fans. You’re truly amazing and the memories and emotions from our biggest nights together will be cherished.”
Trophies. Memories. Unprecedented new heights.— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) December 1, 2020
Thank you for bringing so much to this city & club, Greg pic.twitter.com/1G3wrPrBcz
This season, Vanney and co. have had to navigate through the unique challenges of a global pandemic, including playing all of their games away from home and their families. Nevertheless, the TFC manager has still found ways to win, as the Reds finished second overall in MLS this season heading into the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, despite falling short in the postseason.
Born in Virginia, Vanney—who lives in Toronto along with his wife Amy and their four children—was named the ninth head coach in club history on August 31, 2014 before going on to earn a multi-year contract extension with Toronto FC on July 14, 2017 (which was set to expire this year). Ironically enough, Vanney was actually originally hired as assistant general manager and academy director in 2013 before being promoted to his current role.
Vanney’s track record with Toronto FC on the pitch speaks for itself. Of Toronto FC’s 196 all-time wins, Vanney has 57 per cent! He has 28 more wins that the previous eight TFC coaches combined (h/t Marytn Bailey for the stats).
“I wish Greg nothing but the best in the future,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Back in 2014 he took over the head coach duties for a team that had never made the playoffs and turned them into an MLS champion. More than that, he is of high character and a great family man. I thank him for time well served for our club, his legacy here in Toronto is secure.”
“During the time that I got to work with Greg, I was so impressed with his knowledge of the game, his passion for teaching and his ability to connect with players. Getting to the MLS Cup final last year and contending until the final week this year for the Supporters’ Shield, despite so many obstacles, shows what type of coach, man, and friend that he is,” added Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “I will miss working with Greg and wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavours.”
The search for Vanney’s replacement will begin immediately.