Nashville SC appoint BJ Callaghan as second-ever head coach

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC announced on Wednesday the appointment of BJ Callaghan as the second head coach in club history. Callaghan, 43, has been an assistant for the US Men’s National Team under Gregg Berhalter since 2019, serving as the interim head coach in 2023. He lead the USMNT to a Concacaf Nations League championship, as well as a run to the semifinals of the 2023 Gold Cup.

Per US Soccer, Callaghan and Nashville SC had agreed to terms earlier and planned to announce his appointment after the USMNT finished the 2024 Copa América. The USMNT’s 1-0 loss to Uruguay on Monday evening saw them exit the tournament in the group stage.

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Callaghan will officially take charge of Nashville SC on July 22, with his first match to be the club’s July 31 Leagues Cup opener against Mazatlán FC.

“Taking the head coach position at Nashville SC is an incredible opportunity and an exciting next step in my career,” said Callaghan in the press release. “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Gregg Berhalter for his mentorship and support throughout my time with the U.S. Men’s National Team. The experience I’ve gained here has been invaluable, and I’m deeply appreciative of the relationships and memories made along the way.”

“While I am thrilled to embark on this new journey, it is bittersweet to leave a team and staff that I believe in so deeply. I have full confidence in the exceptional coaching staff we have in place and know the team is in great hands. As we approach the 2026 World Cup, I’ll be cheering on the team every step of the way. Thank you to everyone at U.S. Soccer for the support and camaraderie – it has truly been an honor.”

Prior to taking the job with the US National Team, Callaghan spent 10 years as a college coach, starting at Ursinus College, before moving to Saint Joseph’s and Villanova, where he served as an assistant on both the men’s and women’s programs. In 2012, Callaghan took a job with the Philadelphia Union, where he worked as an academy assistant before moving to the first team as an assistant to newly-hired head coach Jim Curtin.

“We are so excited to usher in this new era for Nashville Soccer Club with BJ as our head coach,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “BJ has a tremendous amount of experience that spans all levels of soccer at the highest levels of the game and has excelled throughout the MLS ecosystem. He is an exceptional leader who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached and brings a hard-working and relentless mentality to our club. BJ is ready for this opportunity to continue to build and develop a winning culture and is the right person to drive our club’s ambition for success.”

Callaghan is the second permanent coach in Nashville’s history. After Gary Smith was fired earlier this season after coaching 239 matches in all competitions, Director of Player Development Rumba Munthali has served as the club’s interim head coach. In his eight matches in charge, Nashville had amassed three wins, three draws and three losses. Munthali will remain in charge for the next five matches until Callaghan officially begins.

As part of the release, Nashville also announced that Huntsville City FC interim head coach Christophe Berra will step down after their match against New England Revolution II on July 10. Callaghan will assist in the identification of a new head coach for the MLS NEXT Pro side.

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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