Utah Royals FC have filled their vacant head coach role, announcing Friday the hiring Craig Harrington as Laura Harvey’s successor.
Harrington joins from the Chicago Red Stars, where he was an assistant coach for the last two seasons, including the team’s run to the National Women’s Soccer League championship match last year.
He was previously the technical director of the Turks & Caicos men’s national team, and a youth coach at Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy. His job with the Royals marks his first as the head coach of a professional team.
“Making the move to Utah Royals FC was an easy decision for one key reason: potential,” Harrington said in a club issued statement. “The ambition of the club, combined with the hunger and talent of the players, is a powerful mix.”
Assistant coach Amy LePeilbet and goalkeeper coach Jason Batty will stay at the club, while assistant Scott Parkinson has left.
The Royals’ coaching search became official in January when the team’s first head coach Laura Harvey left to become the new coach of the U-20 United States women’s national team. Parkinson led the team in an interim role after Harvey’s departure, a period that included overseeing the Royals’ picks in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.
“Our biggest priorities in this search were to find someone who understands the competitive level of this League, and who will continue to build upon the Royals established principles and style of play,” general manager Stephanie Lee said in a club issued statement. “We selected Craig because he not only demonstrated his knowledge of both those elements, but because he believes in building a holistic vision and plan of what we want the Royals to look-like and build upon, creating a true organizational identity that aligns with Dell Loy’s vision of globally & locally progressing women’s football.”
Harrington’s hire means the three coaching positions that were vacant to start the NWSL offseason have been filled with a month to go until preseason begins. The hire also means that the league will have only one female coach — Sky Blue FC’s Freya Coombe — to start the 2020 season.