FRISCO – Brent Erwin is getting settled into his new job as FC Dallas assistant coach, a post that reunites him with his mentor - head coach Schellas Hyndman.
Erwin worked under Hyndman at Southern Methodist University from June 2000 through May 2005. When Hyndman left SMU, Erwin landed a men’s head coaching gig at the University of Central Florida, where he remained until 2007. Erwin then returned to SMU where he was the head women’s coach until 2012.
“It’s a dream come true,” Erwin said of his new job.
This will be Erwin’s first time coaching in the MLS, and Erwin is excited to work with his new colleagues.
“Most of the building blocks are in place. Coach [Hyndman] has been here for a period of time now and Drew [Keeshan] and Marco [Ferruzzi] are unbelievably smart and sharp people,” Erwin said. “What I have to do is figure out exactly what role I can best serve the team in, because you need a person who is willing to come in and work hard and be part of a good program.”
On the surface, a transitional period for Erwin doesn’t seem likely. He shares many of the coaching philosophies of Hyndman because he began coaching under him early in his career.
Even though he and Hyndman are no strangers, Erwin says Hyndman continues to surprise him. During their time at SMU, Hyndman was considered one of the best coaches in college soccer. Erwin believes that Hyndman has improved since then from his already strong coaching form.
“I see the practices he does now and they are better than things we saw when he was considered the best” said Erwin. “And that to me is a huge lesson, because here is a man who was arguably at the top of his profession, and [he] has continued to progress and develop and become even better. While he has gotten better, he is still humble and is still the same person that he was.”
Erwin notes that one of the first things he noticed was the quality of the players. The athletic ability, the technical skill and mental strength of the players stood out to him from the first training session.
“It was cold and windy and you have every excuse to mail it in and they didn’t,” Erwin said of a recent January preseason training session in chilly conditions. “They trained hard and did everything that was asked of them. It has been a real pleasure early on.”
Other than working with Hyndman again, Erwin is looking forward to the length of an MLS season. He compared the colligate soccer season to a sprint, while the MLS season has a more comfortable pace with a lot of room to experiment with different strategies and truly find what works best with a particular team.
“It’s actually one of the things that attracted me most to the MLS,” he said. “I want to be able to work with the best players and the best environment that our country has to offer, but also to work and learn over a 10-month season, instead of two or three months.”
Ultimately Erwin hopes to coach in the MLS for many years to come.
“Now that [I am] here, I just want to continue to learn from the good people who are here and help where I can.”