Houston Dynamo appoint Owen Coyle as head coach

The Houston Dynamo announced today the appointment of Owen Coyle as the club’s head coach. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coyle has extensive experience as a player and manager in the upper levels of English and Scottish soccer. The 48-year-old guided Burnley Football Club to promotion to the Barclays Premier League in 2009, the first time the club reached England’s top flight in 33 years. Under Coyle, the Clarets also reached the League Cup semifinals in 2008.

Coyle follows Dominic Kinnear as the second head coach in Dynamo history.

“First and foremost I’m thankful for the opportunity to come to the Houston Dynamo,” Coyle said. “It is nice to be wanted by a fantastic club and I feel we have a great opportunity to put a team on the pitch that is pleasing on the eye and can win games. I’ve been watching Houston Dynamo for many years and I know the atmosphere of the supporters. The league is thriving and the opportunity to join a big club like the Dynamo is very exciting for me.”

Coyle became manager of the Premier League’s Bolton Wanderers in 2010 and signed Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden and American defender Tim Ream during his tenure. Coyle also managed England national team regulars Jack Wilshire and Daniel Sturridge, who joined Bolton on loan in his tenure. Coyle’s Wanderers reached the 2010-11 FA Cup semifinals and he was twice named Premier League Manager of the Month (November 2010, March 2012).

“I am extremely excited to bring Owen Coyle to the Houston Dynamo and am confident that he is the right fit for our club,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti said. “He brings a wealth of experience at the highest level and possesses the personal qualities we are looking for in our manager. Most importantly, I can feel his will to win and know that he is motivated to successfully lead us into the next phase of our club’s future.”

Born in Paisley, Scotland, Coyle scored over 200 goals in more than 600 professional appearances as a player. His lengthy playing career included stops with several clubs in Scotland and England, including Bolton and Scottish clubs Dumbarton F.C., Motherwell F.C. and Airdrieonians F.C. The forward with Irish ancestry made one appearance for the Republic of Ireland national team.

“We are very pleased to announce Owen Coyle as the new head coach of the Houston Dynamo,” Dynamo VP/GM Matt Jordan said. “His top level experience, character, passion and ability to lead a group will be key factors as the team and club continues to evolve. He has a true respect and appreciation for the game in this country and of Major League Soccer, which was extremely important for us as a club moving forward.”

Coyle effectively completed his playing career at age 38 as a player-manager with Airdrie in 2005 after previously serving in a player-manager role with Falkirk in 2003 and co-leading the Bairns to the Scottish First Division title. He gained his first full time managerial role in 2005 with St. Johnstone in the Scottish First Division and led the Saints to a second-place finish in his first two seasons as well as to the semifinals of the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup in 2007. Coyle also made sporadic playing appearances with St. Johnsone, and later, with Bolton. 

Coyle took the helm at Burnley in November 2007 and earned success in his first full season in the English Championship, leading the Clarets to a fifth place finish in the 2008-09 campaign and a place in the Championship playoffs. Burnley defeated Reading, 3-0, in the semifinal before beating Sheffield United, 1-0, in the final for promotion to the Premier League. 

Coyle has thrived in Cup competitions, repeatedly bouncing clubs from higher divisions. With St. Johnstone, he beat Scottish giants Rangers in the 2006-07 Scottish League Cup quarterfinals and Scottish Premier League clubs Falkirk and Motherwell to reach the Scottish Cup the same year. He then guided Burnley to three upsets of Premiership clubs in the 2008-09 League Cup – defeating Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal in succession to reach the semifinals.

Coyle’s most recent managerial role was with Wigan Athletic in the English Championship. He joined the Latics in June 2013 but left the club in December of the same year.