At A Glance:
- New England native and former Revolution defender enters sixth season as head coach with a 65-67-38 record in the regular season.
- Led Revolution to three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff appearances from 2013-15, including a berth in MLS Cup in 2014.
- Contributed in all three of the Revs’ U.S. Open Cup Final appearances, once as a head coach and twice as a player, helping win the Open Cup trophy in 2007.
- Anchored club’s defense from 2001-09 and ranks in the top five in club history in games played (243), games started (238), and minutes played (21,619).
Jay Heaps enters his sixth season as Head Coach of the New England Revolution after becoming the sixth head coach in club history on November 14, 2011. The Nashua, N.H. native and Longmeadow, Mass. product has led the Revs to three MLS Cup Playoff appearances, including a trip to MLS Cup in 2014, and to the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
With his appointment in 2011, Heaps brought his hallmark qualities that fans and teammates appreciated during his playing days to the bench: spirit, energy, charisma, toughness, and passion. He is the first former Revs player and the only New England native to coach the club.
In 2016, Heaps led the Revolution to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final – the 10th major tournament final in club history. In regular season play, Heaps oversaw the implementation of Designated Player Kei Kamara, who was acquired in a midseason trade, and helped players such as Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe, and Brad Knighton flourish. After Heaps instituted a 4-4-2 formation late in the season, the team won five out of seven MLS games to close the season.
Heaps was named head coach after an 11-year MLS playing career that included nine seasons with the Revolution. He anchored the club’s defense from 2001-09, making 243 appearances and 238 starts, both the third most in club history. After his retirement, Heaps remained close to the club as an ambassador and color analyst on both its television and radio broadcasts, while also working in the investment banking industry.
After earning MLS Rookie of the Year honors with the Miami Fusion in 1999, Heaps returned to his hometown club in June 2001 through a trade. During the next nine seasons in New England, he cemented his legacy as not only a fan favorite, but also a driving leader on the field and in the locker room during the team’s run of four MLS Cup appearances (2002, 2005-07). He is one of three Revolution players to start in each of the club’s first four MLS Cup appearances and was also a member of the Revolution squads that won the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2008 North American SuperLiga titles. Heaps has participated in all but one of New England’s 10 final appearances as a player or coach, including all three of its Open Cup Finals.
At the time of his retirement in 2009, Heaps held the distinction of being the longest-tenured Revolution player in the team’s history. When he left the team, Heaps was the club’s all-time leader in games played (243), starts (238), and minutes played (21,619). He also ranked fifth on the Revs’ career assist chart (26) and had totaled nine career goals. In MLS record books, Heaps was ranked eighth all-time in MLS in games played (314), fourth in starts (299), and third in minutes played (27,363) at the time of his retirement. He concluded his playing career with 17 goals and 34 assists overall.
Defined throughout his career by a rugged determination and dedicated team-first mentality, Heaps made at least 27 regular season appearances in each of his 11 professional seasons. Despite his physical playing style and fearless nature, Heaps missed just three games due to injury during more than eight seasons with the Revolution, making him one of the most durable and reliable players in MLS history. Heaps started every match for which he was available in the last five years of his career from 2005-09, anchoring one of the most consistent defenses in MLS over that span.
Giving credence to the saying that many improve with age, Heaps had perhaps the best seasons of his career as a defender in his final professional years. Honored as the Revolution’s Defender of the Year for in 2009, Heaps was rewarded for his stellar play with a call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He went on to earn all four caps on his USMNT résumé during the tournament, including his international debut on July 11, 2009 against Haiti in front of his hometown crowd at Gillette Stadium. Heaps is also a former member of the U.S. Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams.
Heaps played collegiately at Duke, where he won the 1998 Missouri Athletic Club Award as the national player of the year. He was a three-time finalist for the Hermann Trophy, a four-time first-team All-ACC selection, and a four-time all-region choice. He left Duke’s program ranked third in career goals (45), fourth in career assists (37), and tied for second in career points (127). In addition to earning Soccer America’s National Freshman of the Year honors in 1995, Heaps also played three-and-a-half years of basketball under legendary Duke and USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski before leaving midway through his senior year to pursue a professional soccer career. He was named one of Duke’s “Top-10 Devils of the Decade” by the Duke Chronicle.
In addition to earning his USSF “A” Coaching License in March 2014, Heaps accrued three years of collegiate coaching experience during his MLS playing days with the Revolution. In 2004, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Boston College under Ed Kelly as the Eagles went 13-5-2 and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. He followed that with a two-year stint (2005-06) at Northeastern under Brian Ainscough in the same capacity.
Heaps and his wife, Danielle, live southwest of Boston and have three children: John F. “Jack” Heaps IV, Olivia, and Jude. Heaps is a member of the Board of Directors and the Second Vice Chair of AmericaSCORES Boston, and was the Revs’ representative to the MLS Players Union during his playing career. In 2011, he was inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame.