By Brian Maurer
The Smith Era is set to begin
According to sources, Dean Smith is finalizing his move to become the next head coach of Charlotte FC. He will be Charlotte’s third manager in three years.
Smith has over a decade of coaching experience. He has coached at the top three levels in England since 2011, from League One with Warsall to the Premier League with Aston Villa, Norwich City, and Leicester City.
His most impressive stretch was his time at Aston Villa. He was hired during the 2018/19 season and led the team to a fifth-place finish in the Championship. They then won promotion to the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Derby County in the playoff final.
In the 2019/20 season, Smith helped Villa stay up with a 17th-place finish and led them to the EFL Final where they lost 2-1 to Manchester City. He then helped the Villains make a jump in the 20/21 season where they finished 11th in the table. He was let go from Aston Villa during the 2021/22 season after a fifth straight Premier League loss.
The former Premier League manager will join his son, Jamie, stateside. His son played college ball at NC State and played for the Greenville Triumph in 2023.
Smith has success at the highest levels in both league play and playoff formats and will bring that experience to Charlotte FC as the club looks to improve on their back-to-back ninth-place finishes in the Eastern Conference.