Jay Heaps comes to Birmingham after spending six seasons as the head coach of the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer. They qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and in 2014, the Revs were crowned Eastern Conference Champions and made it to MLS Cup.
Before he began coaching, Heaps spent time in 2010 as the color commentator for the New England Revolution games on Comcast SportsNet New England and joined Morgan Stanley in Boston for three years in private banking.
Heaps played in MLS for eleven seasons, spending 1999 and 2000 with the Miami Fusion and 2001 to 2009 with the Revolution. After being drafted second overall in the 1999 MLS College Draft, he spent the season playing in midfield and defense and was named Rookie of the Year. In just his second season in the league, Heaps made the MLS All-Star team. The jump into the spotlight garnered attention from New England, who traded for him before the 2001 season.
Heaps made himself at home on the Revolution backline throughout the 2000’s. Playing on the right as a fullback in a back four or right-sided center back in a back three, Heaps helped lead the Revs to MLS Cup as Eastern Conference Champions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007 alongside MLS legends like Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey, and Michael Parkhurst. When he retired, Heaps left the Revolution as the leader in career appearances, starts, and minutes, ranked fifth in MLS career minutes played (25,193), eighth in career games started (274), and tied for ninth in career appearances (289). He was also called up to the United States Men’s National Team in 2009 and earned four caps in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Heaps turned into an MLS-level talent in his four years at Duke University. He was a three-time Hermann Trophy finalist, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player, before winning the award as a senior and was the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year the same season. He was a four-time first-team All-ACC selection, four-time ACC All-Tournament performer and four-time NSCAA All-South Region pick. Upon graduation, he left the Duke program ranked third in career goals (45), fourth in career assists (37), and tied for second in career points (127). He was named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year in 1995. While in school, he also earned a basketball scholarship as a walk-on point guard for the Duke basketball team under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He graduated in 1998 with degrees in economics and history, and was named one of Duke’s “Top 10 Devils of the Decade” by the Duke Chronicle.
Heaps moved to Birmingham in January with his wife, Danielle, and three children, Jack, Olivia, and Jude, and is excited to build a culture and foundation for high-level soccer in the Magic City.