SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014) – Real Salt Lake announced on Tuesday that it has named Craig Waibel as the club’s new Technical Director. He will take over the lead role on the technical staff after the departure of General Manager Garth Lagerwey at the end of the month.
“Craig is an extraordinarily bright, successful individual whose teams have been winners at every step of his career,” said RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen. “He is the ideal person to work with Jeff Cassar, Bill Manning and myself to evolve this club forward, building upon the incredible foundation established during the last 10 years by Garth Lagerwey and countless others.”
WATCH: Waibel talks about new RSL Technical Director role: http://www.realsaltlake.com/video/2014/12/16/craig-waibel-discusses-technical-director-role
A longtime MLS defender, Waibel made 156 career appearances in 11 MLS seasons, playing most of his career with the Houston Dynamo. He won MLS Cup four times as a player, first with the 2002 LA Galaxy, then with the 2003 San Jose Earthquakes and finally in back-to-back seasons with the Dynamo in 2006 and 2007. During his 12 years as a professional, he played with the Seattle Sounders (A-League, 1999-2002), Colorado Rapids (2000), LA Galaxy (2001-2002), San Jose Earthquakes (2003-2005) and Houston Dynamo (2006-2010).
“Our fans will absolutely love Craig Waibel,” said Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning, who has overseen the club’s soccer & business operations for each of RSL’s seven consecutive playoff years, the longest active streak in Major League Soccer. “He is a bright, witty, self-effacing gentleman who is respected and admired throughout the soccer industry.
After retiring in 2010, Waibel moved into the coaching ranks, starting as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan in 2011 before spending two seasons at the University of Washington in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he came to RSL and served as the club’s main defenders coach, leading the defensive core to a top-three finish in MLS with 39 goals allowed.
In addition to his success on the field, Waibel was also named MLS Humanitarian of the Year five times in his career. While with the Dynamo, he started Waibel’s Warriors and the Bald is Beautiful campaign to raise funds for Curing Children’s Cancer Fund and regularly visited the Texas Childrens Hospital Cancer Ward, ensuring that his time spent in Houston would be remembered as much for the incredible work off the field as it was for the championships he won on it.
In addition to Waibel’s promotion, Elliot Fall – a member of the organization since 2007 – has been promoted from Director of Soccer Operations to his new post as Assistant General Manager.