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(CBS) The Chicago Fire officially removed the interim tag and named Frank Klopas their head coach Thursday.
Klopas was previously the club’s technical director before replacing Carlos de los C0bos mid-way through the 2011 season. After taking over as interim head coach, Klopas led the Fire to an 8-5-10 record and a berth in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup Final.
“This is my team, my city, my club,” Klopas said in a statement. “I am extremely thankful to the Fire organization and our owner, Andrew Hauptman, for giving me this tremendous opportunity to lead my hometown side as we look to compete for both the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup.”
A Chicago-product, Klopas played for the Fire in their inaugural 1998 season. That year he helped the Fire win both the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup in their first year of existence. He retired following the 1999 season.
“I believe Frank is the best person to lead our young men to achieve success on the pitch and beyond. Since we brought him back to the Fire ranks a few years ago, he has shown an incredible commitment to building the kind of club and team we strive for,” Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman said. “He’s a passionate and hard working coach, and he believes in our values and our philosophy and it shows. He has a special bond with our young players, and he has fostered a unique culture this year that is sure to lead the Fire to great success in the future.”