Nashville SC fire head coach Gary Smith

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC have officially parted ways with head coach Gary Smith, the club announced Thursday morning. Assistant coach Steve Guppy has also departed.

Smith, 55, has been Nashville’s manager for the entirety of their existence as a professional club, hired has the head coach of their USL Championship side on April 12, 2017. Rumba Munthali, a Player Development Coach with Nashville SC, will serve as interim head coach while the club conducts a search for the next permanent head coach.

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Smith leaves Nashville with an all-time record of 100 wins, 77 draws and 62 losses with a +107 goal differential. Under Smith in MLS regular season play, Smith lead Nashville to a 49W-52D-37L record with a +39 goal difference. Nashville made the playoffs in every professional season under Smith, peaking in 2021 with their third-place finish in the Eastern Conference and penalty shootout loss to Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Nashville have struggled this season, and in reality since last summer. They’ve won just three of 12 matches in 2024, and have clearly struggled to create and sustain attacking pressure. Hany Mukhtar’s form has dropped off significantly since the start of the 2023 season, while Nashville’s once strong defense has been fragile.

With the European season winding down, more candidates will become available. No timeline has been given for the search, but with Nashville still very much in the playoff hunt, the club will likely try to move quickly.

Smith was an exceptional manager for Nashville during their expansion period. His record of qualifying for the postseason with a mid-budget roster was impressive, and his role in Hany Mukhtar’s 2022 MVP-winning season can’t be ignored. While his tenure had a disappointing ending, his contributions to the club in their transition from an amateur to professional to MLS were crucial for soccer in Nashville.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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