Mason Soccer Hall of Famer Named Coach of Chicago Fire
Posted: January 17, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
Denis Hamlett, BS ’92
Brian Kersey/Chicago Fire photo
Denis Hamlett, BS ’92, a member of the Patriots’ Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame, was hired as the head coach of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire.
Hamlett is the fourth head coach in the 10-year history of the club.
Hamlett played at Mason from 1989 to 1991. He earned All-South Atlantic Region and All-Colonial Athletic Association honors during his career at Mason, helping lead the Patriots to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1989 and 1990.
He was inducted into the George Mason Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame in its original class of 2006, which included six other Patriot legends.
Hamlett, the 12th overall selection in the inaugural 1996 MLS Draft, enjoyed a stellar campaign in the league’s first season, starting 31 of the Colorado Rapids’ 32 contests en route to being named the team’s 1996 BIC Tough Defender of the Year.
Prior to joining Colorado, Hamlett was an All-Star for the Continental Indoor Soccer League’s Anaheim Splash during their 1994 and 1995 seasons. Hamlett started his professional soccer career in 1992, splitting his time between the indoor and outdoor seasons for two years for the National Professional Soccer League’s Harrisburg Heat and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the American Professional Soccer League, now USL First Division.
Prior to being named head coach, Hamlett served as the Fire’s top assistant since the 2001 campaign. At the same time, he maintained his responsibilities as the team’s Community Relations Department liaison, a role in which he helped the team organize community activities, including player appearances.
Hamlett earned his “A” coaching license from U.S. Soccer following his retirement from professional soccer in 1997. After the 1999 MLS season, he served as the assistant coach during the U.S. Project-40 squad’s visit to Portugal. The team played in four games while in Portugal, and Hamlett helped Project-40 leave with a 2-2 record.
The bilingual Hamlett, who moved to the United States from Costa Rica when he was 10 years old, currently resides in Chicago, Ill.