With long-time head coach John Wolyniec stepping down last season, the New York Red Bulls II have announced that Gary Lewis has taken over the reins for this upcoming season and beyond. Lewis comes to New York after serving as the Seattle Sounders' Academy Director since February of 2020.
“Gary has a tremendous amount of experience, having worked at some of the best clubs and academies in both the U.K. and the U.S.,” Red Bulls Academy Director Sean McCafferty said. “He has worked closely with the first and second-team staff at every club he has worked with and has a proven track record of developing and preparing top young players for first-team football.”
The Liverpool, England, native began his coaching career at the Liverpool FC youth academy, working with the U-6 to U-9 teams. He transitioned to Everton FC in 2006, where he served as the Head Coach of the U-13 team. Two years later, Lewis returned to Liverpool to become the head of their youth development program.
Following his second stint at Liverpool, Lewis moved to the United States in 2014 and was named the National Director of Coaching at The Football Club USA. There, he oversaw a network of coaches and 1,000 players on teams in six states, including New York and New Jersey.
In 2015, Lewis became the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Union’s U-14 team and was later named as the Head Coach of their U-17’s. He also served as the Director of Affiliate Clubs during his time in Philadelphia. After four years with the Union, Lewis was hired as the Seattle Sounders U-17 Head Coach in 2019 and was promoted to Academy Director the following year.
“I am delighted to be joining this organization and I’m well aware of the stature and history that it has,” Lewis said. “I would like to thank the Red Bull management team for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to meeting the staff and players and getting to work on the training field.”
Throughout his career, Lewis has worked with young players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ross Barkley, Brenden Aaronson, and Mark McKenzie.
On the international level, Lewis spent a brief period as an assistant coach on the United States U-18 Men’s National Team in early 2019.
Lewis also is a qualified Coach Educator for the USSF “A” license and will serve a key role in developing coaches/staff members both on Red Bulls II and within the Academy/Youth Programs.
While John Wolyniec will have a lasting impact with the reserve team after winning its one and only USL Cup title in 2016, all signs point to keeping the steady pipeline of young and hungry talent to the first team now, and of course, well in the future.