CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp has announced the official hiring of long-time Dutch football manager Ron Jans (pronounced YAHNS) as the club’s new head coach.
Jans will be formally introduced at an 10 a.m. press conference tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 5, at the Mercy Health Training Center in Milford, Ohio. He will oversee his first FC Cincinnati training session on Tuesday, Aug. 6, and will coach his first FCC game on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Columbus.
“We are excited to get Ron involved with the team as soon as possible and leading us the rest of the season,” Nijkamp said. “He has a pedigree of success and guiding strong clubs, especially through difficult transitions to championships.
“With his experience and expertise in all aspects of being a head coach, I have full confidence that he will be successful at FC Cincinnati. I believe Ron will be a critical part to establishing the foundation for our playing philosophy as well as our performance on the pitch,” Nijkamp said.
“I’m very appreciative of Gerard, Jeff Berding and the club’s ownership group for their confidence in bringing me to FC Cincinnati,” Jans said. “This club has drawn a lot of attention in Europe and football fans are very interested in the progress of the club, which is why this opportunity is so exciting. My challenge is realizing our immense potential and I am really looking forward of being part of that development and making the fans even prouder to support FC Cincinnati.”
Jans is the third head coach in the club’s brief MLS history and its fourth overall, including its United Soccer League seasons (2016-18). He has signed a managerial contract through Dec. 31, 2020.
JANS’ COACHING STAFF
Yoann Damet, who has served as the club’s interim head coach since former head coach Alan Koch’s dismissal on May 7, is remaining on staff as Jans’ top assistant coach. After becoming the youngest coach in MLS history, Damet finished his brief tenure as the club’s caretaker coach with a 3-10-0 record in league play and a 4-11-0 mark overall including U.S. Open Cup play.
“As a club, we also have to give a big recognition and thank you to Yoann for all the work he has done as our caretaker coach the last few months,” Nijkamp added. “He did not come into an easy role and he had a lot of work to do to create a way of playing and cultivating positivity. We’ve been very happy with all of his efforts and the hard work he’s done in the interim to get us going in the right direction.
“Yoann has laid the foundation for our playing philosophy and getting our whole club going in the same path. He has a very strong soccer mind and we look forward to him continuing his work for us and further developing his managerial methods under Ron’s guidance,” Nijkamp added.
Additionally, Jack Stern will continue with the club on Jans’ staff in his current role as goalkeeping coach.
Both Damet and Stern have signed contract extensions to remain with the club through Dec. 31, 2022.
Joining Damet and Stern on Jans’ coaching staff is new FCC assistant Ivar van Dinteren. He will formally join the staff in Cincinnati upon receipt of his U.S. work visa.
Already familiar with the southwest Ohio area, Van Dinteren has previously both played (2010-11) for and managed (2011-12) the Dayton Dutch Lions of the then-USL Pro League.
Van Dinteren left Dayton to take on coaching roles with the PEC Zwolle Academy back in his native Netherlands. From there, he moved on to one of the country’s top amateur teams, SDO Bussum, where he has been the club’s manager since 2017. Most recently, he has added coaching responsibilities at Almere City FC as the Eerste Divisie’s reserve team coach.
Van Dinteren was born in Bussum, Netherlands, and enjoyed a 14-year professional playing career as a striker that included stops throughout the Netherlands including, FC Groningen, RKC, Helmond Sport, FC Zwolle, Stormvogels Telstar and VV Noordwijk before he came stateside to finish his playing career in Dayton.
Van Dinteren fills the staff role most recently held by Pa-Modou Kah, who has departed the club to pursue other professional opportunities.
Gary Walker, who joined FC Cincinnati in March from Manchester United as assistant coach and Director of Sports Performance, will continue to lead that area and oversee the current staff in the club’s health and wellness initiatives – including athletic training, nutrition, strength and conditioning and physical therapy – as he has done since arriving in Cincinnati. He continues to report to Nijkamp.
ABOUT RON JANS
Born in Zwolle, Netherlands, Jans grew up playing youth soccer at RKSV Zwolle before signing his first professional contract with PEC Zwolle in 1976. The forward thrived at his hometown’s biggest club, and by 1983, he had made 157 appearances and scored 44 goals.
From there, he moved to FC Groningen and provided 16 goals for the team across 63 appearances. In 1984, he moved to Roda JC and made 99 club appearances, scoring 10 goals in three seasons. During the 1987-88 season, he played 16 times for Mazda Motors, scoring once, before finishing his playing career at BV Veendam between 1988-1991. There, Jans scored five goals in 54 appearances.
By the time his playing career ended, the Dutchman had amassed 389 club appearances and 76 professional goals.
After retiring from playing, Jans instantly went into coaching. His first club was SJS Stadskanaal, where he coached from 1991-93. Next came ACV (1993-96) and Achilles 1894 (1996-2000).
In 2000, Jans was an assistant at BVO Emmen, which is now known as FC Emmen. After two seasons there, he returned to FC Groningen as manager, and spent the next eight years with his former club. That tenure soon became the longest in the Eredivisie and was filled with success.
In 2005 and 2006, Groningen qualified for consecutive UEFA Cups, a significant achievement considering the Eredivisie’s European qualifiers are generally reserved between Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord based on league standings. One of his players on his Groningen squad was Luis Suarez, who was playing for his first European club during his illustrious career.
After the 2009-10 season, Jans opted for a change in scenery and went to SC Heerenveen and continued to generate success for his new club. By April 2012, the side fought for an Eredivisie title and were led by Luciano Narsingh and Bas Dost, two players on the Netherlands national team.
Following that season, Jans moved to Belgium and became Standard Liège’s manager, but he returned home to the Netherlands in October 2012 when Jans and Gerard Nijkamp first joined forces.
At the time, Nijkamp was PEC Zwolle’s Technical Director and looking for a new manager – opting for Jans. By the end of their first season, the duo led Zwolle to its first major trophy in club history when they won the KNVB Cup, 5-1, over Ajax. (The KNVB Cup is the Dutch equivalent to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.)
In 2014-15, while Jans led Zwolle to their second-straight KNVB Cup final appearance, the club won also the Johan Cruijff Schaal – the Dutch Super Cup – before the 2015-16 Eredivisie campaign began.
Jans and Nijkamp continued working together until 2017, when Jans left PEC Zwolle. Since then, he’s been technical director at Eredivisie club FC Groningen for the last two seasons.
FC Cincinnati returns to the field this Saturday, Aug. 10, when the team travels to Columbus for the first of two #HellIsReal rivalry games in three weekends. First kick from MAPFRE Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised live on WSTR 64, streamed on FloFC (in-region) and ESPN+ (out-of-region), carried on the radio on WDJO with an audio stream on TuneIn (WDJO) and fccincinnati.com.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.
Pick-Six mini plans, and individual-game tickets and group options are on sale for all remaining FC Cincinnati home games at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).