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Tacoma Tide FC Hire Hall of Famer as New Coach

Tide FC sign Gerry Gray, a Canadian Hall of Fame midfielder with World Cup experience, to man the touch line for the 2010 campaign. (TacomaTideSports.com)

The Tacoma Tide FC went north of the border to find their next head coach, Gerry Gray. The former Vancouver Whitecap and Tacoma Star brings impressive playing experience to the touch line.

Gray, a Hall of Famer at the midfield position, comes to Tacoma with 13 years of national team experience. Gray played 34 matches for Canada’s Full National Team and also represented Canada on the 1984 Olympic squad. The new Tide Head Coach scored nine goals during his career at the various levels of national play, including a deal ball free kick at Azteca Stadium in Mexico for a 1-1 draw during world cup qualification. For his key inclusion on the only Canada team to qualify for a World Cup Finals, as well as a long North American pro club career, Gray was inducted into The Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001.

Gray has been involved with the Tacoma Tide FC for the last few years as an advisor and the team’s color commentator for their matches on TV. These games are available on Comcast On Demand for free.

"First of all, I'd like to thank the Tide for the opportunity to coach here. There are only so many jobs at the higher levels, and this feels like a good fit.” Gerry Gray said about his hiring as Tacoma Tide coach. “I feel from my experience as a pro, I can help kids develop as players and individuals to take their game to the next level."

General Manager and Play x Play Announcer, Jon Billings joked, “I lost my broadcast partner!”, but added, “This is a far better use for Gerry. He brings a winning quality as well as experience of the highest level. We’re lucky to have his class on and off the pitch associated with the Tide.”

Mike Jennings, Tide Owner, commented on the Gray, “Over the years I have known and coached beside Gerry, I can say he will bring a new passion and commitment to the Tide touchline that we have not seen in awhile. Though he has been involved with the team as a TV analyst the past few years, I have pestered him to be more involved. I am delighted to have him on-board”

Gray also mentioned his intentions for the job, “I’m not doing this for the business, I’m doing it because soccer is my passion and I want to help these young players.”

Gerry Gray History -

Born and raised in Scotland, Gray moved to Canada at the age of 12. In 1980, Gerry’s club career began with the Vancouver Whitecaps where he made 82 appearances and scored 13 goals. In 1982, he was selected to the NASL’s 1st North American All-Star Team. Gray’s career also led him to Tacoma to play indoor soccer in 1986-87 and helped the Stars to the MISL Championship Game.

His first game in a Team Canada uniform came in 1980 when Gray was just 19 years old.  Gray played the entire game in 4-0 Team Canada victory over New Zealand.  In 1986, he logged playing time in Canada’s two FIFA World Cup matches.

After retiring from play in 1991, the former Tacoma Star moved back to Tacoma where he now lives with his wife, Michelle and their kids.

About the Tacoma Tide FC:

The Tide begin their fifth season in USL Premier Development League on May 15. They will play in Bremerton against local rivals, Kitsap Pumas. The home opener for the Tide at Curtis High School Stadium (University Place, WA) is on May 28 at 7:30 vs. Yakima Reds.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

www.TacomaTideSports.com

Additional Links for Gerry Gray:

Wikipedia - Gerry Gray

Pictures - Gerry Gray

Canada Hall Of Fame - Gerry Gray

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