Since last fall’s firing of longtime GM Michael Hitchcock, a looming question for FC Dallas has been whom the club would hire to replace him.
That query was answered on Tuesday when Barry Gorman, who spent 22 years as head coach at Penn State, was officially introduced as the club’s first technical director in franchise history.
“We’re extremely delighted to have him,” FC Dallas investor-operator Clark Hunt told reporters before training on Tuesday morning. “He’ll serve the club primarily on the player personnel side, where he’ll be in charge of scouting both on a national and international basis. He’ll also be involved with our youth club in helping identify prospects for the first team. He will manage our international club partnerships and he will also work with the head coach in improving the development of the first team.”
FCD relieved Hitchcock of his duties at the conclusion of last season. Since then, the club has received countless resumes and materials from parties interested in becoming the franchise’s first-ever TD before finally settling on Gorman.
“It was a long process,” Hunt said. “We talked to many qualified candidates and at the end of the day, it was clear Barry was the right person. He brings a background both in American soccer and international soccer, where he was a professional player. It’s a perfect fit for the organization.”
In his 22 years as head coach of the Nittany Lions, Gorman led PSU to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances and two appearances in the national quarterfinals. His teams won three Big Ten conference titles and in 2005, he was named the conference’s coach of the year. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Gorman spent a total of 24 years in Happy Valley, the first two as an assistant before being named head coach in 1988.
While he looks back on his time in State College with great pride, he also knew it was time for a new experience.
“It’s the challenge [that drew me here],” Gorman told reporters Tuesday. “I think every once in a while, you have to reinvent yourself. And it’s a chance to give back to the game, a chance to be involved in the growth. You don’t leave somewhere like Penn State unless you’re going to move to a similar organization with people who care, people who want to grow it and do it the right way. “
Gorman and FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman have been friends for several decades, something that definitely factored into his decision. However, there’s no doubt in Gorman’s mind about who’s running the show in Frisco.
“I’ve always felt that the head coach is in charge,” he said. “He’s the one that makes the decisions. You have to have a head coach to steer the ship. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the youth program because I think you have to have that homegrown talent and Schellas agrees with that. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.”