Coaching / Development, Performance | Jun 21, 2019 | 6 min read

Performance Appointments

Senior Appointments at Juventus, AC Milan, the Anaheim Ducks and beyond.
John Portch

Performance Appointments

The Leaders Performance Institute’s weekly review of appointments across global sport.

Italian Serie A champions Juventus lead the way this week having announced the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as their new Head Coach. With the the Turin-based side paying his former charges, Chelsea, the requisite compensation, Sarri arrived and declared his new role as the ‘crowning glory’ of his career.



Juve’s long-time rivals AC Milan have also installed a new Head Coach in the form of Marco Giampaolo, who has signed a two-year contract to replace Gennaro Gattuso.

Further down the Italian pyramid, Alessandro Nesta has been appointed Head Coach of the Serie B side Frosinone.

Over to England, where Steve Bould and Freddie Ljungberg completed what amounts to a job swap at English Premier League club Arsenal. Bould will now serve as Head Coach of the Gunners’ men’s Under-23s team, while Ljungberg is a new assistant coach under senior men’s Head Coach Unai Emery.

Elsewhere in the Sceptred Isle, Pep Clotet is to be the Caretaker Head Coach of English Championship side Birmingham City. He succeeds Garry Monk, who was sacked earlier this week, on a temporary basis.

North of Hadrian’s Wall, the Scottish Premiership’s Kilmarnock have appointed Angelo Alessio as Head Coach. The Italian succeeds Steve Clarke, who recently took the reins of the Scotland men’s national team.

One person leaving Britain is Craig Bellamy, who departs Cardiff City to become Head Coach of the Anderlecht men’s Under-23s team in Belgium. He reunites with former Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany.

In the international men’s game, Luis Enrique’s decision to quit as Head Coach of the Spain men’s national team after 11 months shocked some but it also opened up the doors for his assistant Robert Moreno. Enrique had missed Spain’s last three internationals, citing personal reasons, and Moreno takes over with immediate effect.

The Belarus senior men’s team is another with a new Head Coach in charge, namely Mikhail Markhel, who has been promoted from his position with the men’s Under-23s team.

Switching to the NHL, Dallas Eakins has been promoted to Head Coach of the Anaheim Ducks. He arrives from Ducks’ affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, whom he coached for the past four seasons.

Elsewhere in the league, the New York Islanders have hired Jim Hiller as an assistant coach, while the Edmonton Oilers have appointed Jim Playfair as an assistant coach too.

On to the NBA, where the Cleveland Cavaliers have announced Antonio Lang as Assistant Coach. Lang joins Head Coach John Belein’s staff from the Utah Jazz, where he has worked for the past five years.

Next is cricket and Ed Joyce, who is to serve as Interim Head Coach of the Ireland women’s senior team.

Finally for this week, the Chinese national curling team has appointed Peja Linholm as Head Coach.

Friday 14th June

After a two-week hiatus we begin with soccer and Spain’s La Liga, where Sevilla have made Julen Lopetegui their new Head Coach. Lopetegui has signed a three-year contract to take his first coaching role since been sacked by Real Madrid in October. He places Joaquín Caparros, who has been diagnosed with chronic leukaemia.

Further west along the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal’s Primeira Liga, Famalicão have appointed João Pedro Sousa as their new Head Coach. He arrives from English Premier League Everton where he served as Assistant Coach to Marco Silva.

For his part, Silva has wasted no time in naming Sousa’s successor at Everton, another compatriot in the form of Luís Boa Morte. The duo worked together at Sporting Clube de Portugal between 2014 and 2015.

Sticking with Portuguese coaches, Paulo Fonseca has signed a two-year contract to be Head Coach of AS Roma. He arrives from Shakhtar Donetsk to replace interim Head Coach Claudio Ranieri.



Across the continent in Germany’s Bundesliga, RB Leipzig announced the departure of Ralf Ragnick as Sporting Director. He is to be replaced by Markus Krösche after Ragnick requested that his own contract be rescinded.

There is also a triple change in the English Championship, Steve Cooper is set to join Swansea City as Manager, Jonathan Woodgate has signed a three-year contract to become the new Manager at Middlesbrough, while Slaven Bilić has been confirmed as the new Manager of West Bromwich Albion.

Elsewhere, Omer Riza took to Twitter to declare that he would be serving as Assistant Head Coach of the Watford men’s Under-23s. In addition to serving the English Premier League side he will also work with the England men’s Under-16s as an assistant.

One individual leaving English age-group football, however, is Jack Collison. Having served as Head Coach of West Ham United’s men’s Under-16s team Collison has accepted a coaching role with Atlanta United in Major League Soccer.

Shifting the focus to basketball, the Memphis Grizzlies have moved to make Taylor Jenkins their Head Coach. His appointment follows the promotions of Zach Kleiman to Vice President of Basketball Operations and Tayshaun Prince to Vice President of Basketball Affairs.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers have announced the hiring of Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant coach. While she is not the first female coach to work in the league, she is the first to arrive from a collegiate head coaching position, arriving as she does from UC California, Berkeley.

Onto the NHL and the Anaheim Ducks, who have hired Jeremy Bettle from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bettle served as the Leafs’ Director of Sports Science and Performance and is expected to perform a similar role on the West Coast.

Next is rugby union and France’s Top 14, namely La Rochelle and their announcement that Ronan O’Gara is to serve as their new Head Coach. O’Gara arrives from the Crusaders in New Zealand and will work under Director of Rugby Jono Gibbes.

Across the English Channel, Premiership side Harlequins have added Sean Long as an assistant coach. He joins from rugby league side St Helens and will work with the attack. The departure has seen St Helens replace Long with Richard Marshall, who will serve as Assistant Coach to Justin Holbrook.

Hull Kingston Rovers have also been active, filling their vacant head coaching role with Tony Smith, who arrives 24 hours after the departure of Tim Sheens.

Back to rugby union, Tabai Matson has been appointed Backs Coach by the Fiji men’s team ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, while Tony Hayter has been named Head Coach of the England women’s sevens team.

Finally, former England cricket international Dimitri Mascarenhas is set to join St Kilda of the AFL in Australia as part of their player welfare division.

Friday 31st May

The Edmonton Oilers take top billing this week following the announcement of NHL veteran Dave Tippett as their new Head Coach. Tippett had been working as a senior adviser to Seattle’s new NHL team.



Elsewhere in the NHL, the San Jose Sharks have hired Bob Boughner as an assistant to work with Head Coach Peter DeBoer. It marks a return to the California team for Boughner, who left the Sharks for a head coaching role at the Florida Panthers.

Over in Europe, Olympique de Marseille of France’s Ligue 1 have appointed André Villas-Boas as Head Coach. The move marks Villas-Boas’ first role in football since leaving Shanghai SIPG in 2017.

Across the border in Switzerland, Super League side Sion have installed Stéphane Henchoz as their new Head Coach. He has been handed a one-year contract with an option on a second season.

Back in the United States, Cincinnati FC’s new General Manager is Gerard Nijkamp, who arrives from PEC Zwolle in his native Netherlands. Nijkamp had served as Technical Director for the past seven years.

In the Middle East, Xavi Hernández is to take his first formal head coaching role at Al Sadd of the Qatar Stars League.

From senior football to age group, Neil Redfearn has been named as Coach of the men’s Under-23s team at Premier League Newcastle United. Redfearn is the long-term replacement for Peter Beardsley, as interim Coach Ben Dawson is promoted to Head of Coaching.

Switching to the international game, Tatsuma Yoshida is the new Head Coach of the Singapore men’s national team. Yoshida represents the first Japanese and the youngest head coach in the Republic’s history.

On to American football and Arizona State, who have hired Marvin Lewis as a Special Advisor. Lewis’ duties will include analysing film of opponents in order to contribute to game strategies.

One person leaving college sport is Roy Rana, who is departing the men’s program at Ryerson to serve as an assistant coach to Luke Walton at the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Rana has combined his work at the school with his role as Head Coach of the Canada men’s Under-17s. He even found the time to lead the senior men at a series of FIBA World Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

Finally for this week, Rick Stone has been announced as Head Coach of the Sydney Roosters Women’s team. Stone will serve for the duration of the Roosters’ 2019 National Rugby Women’s League campaign.

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