The Leaders Performance Institute’s weekly review of appointments across global sport.
With the NFL Divisional Round upon us, the teams that have already bowed out have been busy in the performance appointment stakes. Let’s start with the head coaches: the Green Bay Packers have appointed Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur on a four-year contract. LaFleur is not alone in taking a top job, as Bruce Arians has emerged from retirement to sign a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the option of a fifth year. The Arizona Cardinals have hired Kliff Kingsbury on the same terms having triggered his release clause at the University of Southern California, where he signed on as Offensive Coordinator in December. At the Cleveland Browns, Freddie Kitchens has been promoted from Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach, replacing Interim Head Coach Gregg Williams. His relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield has been cited as a major factor. Then there is Adam Gase, who has joined the New York Jets having been fired by the Miami Dolphins at the end of this season. Finally on the head coaching front, the Denver Broncos have snapped up Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio.
Kliff Kingsbury (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
Elsewhere in the league, the Atlanta Falcons have announced a double acquisition to their offensive staff with the returns of Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey. Koetter is back as Offensive Coordinator, a role he fulfilled between 2012 and 2014, and Mularkey, who coached at the Falcons between 2008 and 2011, will serve as Tight Ends Coach. Todd Bowles may have been fired as Head Coach of the New York Jets last month but he is back in the league and back with long-time associate Bruce Arians, who has named Bowles as his Defensive Coordinator. In addition to their Arians appointment, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also appointed Byron Leftwich as Offensive Coordinator. Completing his NFL round-up is Kevin Stefanski, who is to return to the Minnesota Vikings as Offensive Coordinator.
From the NFL to soccer, namely Mexico, where Tata Martino has been unveiled as the Head Coach of the Mexico men’s national soccer team. Martino, who lifted the MLS Cup with Atlanta United last month, succeeds Juan Carlos Osório, who departed after El Tri’s 2018 Fifa World Cup campaign.
Across the Atlantic, Premier League Arsenal have promoted Senior Football Analyst Ben Knapper to Loan Manager. His new role will involve monitoring players the Gunners have sent out on loan to other clubs. Below, in the Championship, Stoke City have appointed Nathan Jones as their new Manager on a three-and-a-half-year contract. He arrives from Luton Town to replace the departing Gary Rowett.
Back in the US, Niki Budalić has been named as Director of Soccer Operations at the nascent MLS franchise Inter Miami FC. Budalić, whose last role was at fellow Floridians Orlando City SC where he served as GM of Soccer Operations, will help Inter build for their 2020 expansion season.
Onto motorsport. McLaren F1 has announced Andreas Seidl as its Managing Director. The move marks Seidl’s return to Formula 1 having worked at BMW between 2008 and 2009. He won the World Endurance Championship as the boss of Team Porsche.
Over to golf, where it was confirmed this week that Pádraig Harrington will captain Team Europe‘s defence of the Ryder Cup at Whispering Straits in Wisconsin in 2020. Their opponents, Team USA, are expected to announce Steve Stricker as captain later in the year.
Down Under in rugby league, the Cronulla Sharks of Australia’s National Rugby League [NRL] have installed John Morris as Interim Head Coach in place of the suspended Shane Flanagan.
There has been movement in rugby union too, with the Leicester Tigers of the English Premiership bringing onboard Phil Blake as Defensive Coach to work under Geordan Murphy.
Click here for last week’s appointments.