Real Salt Lake fans have watched first hand the evolution of Jason Kreis as a head coach in MLS in the past three years. They’ve been a part of the ups and downs of his learning curve.
This week with Real Salt Lake participating in MLS Cup in Seattle, several national soccer writers are posing questions about how Kreis was able to excel so quickly as a young head coach.
Here’s a long-winded answer from general manager Garth Lagerwey.
“What we’ve tried to do as an organization is allow him to learn. It’s a culture thing. We talked a lot last year about changing the culture in the locker room, making it a winning mentality, making losing unacceptable, making it a dogged fighting team.
But I would also tell you we changed the culture from a management standpoint. When Dave Checketts hired me and Jason, he thought we had some modicum of talent and ability, but he said it’s important that you guys acknowledge that you don’t have experience. You ask questions. The unforgivable sin is not knowing something and pretending you do rather than not knowing something and asking a question.
From my chair I have the great good fortune to have Dave Checketts who was a general manager for 30 years and be able to ask him questions at anytime, and Bill Manning who was a general manager in soccer for 10 years, and we’ve tried very hard from a management perspective to create the same environment for Jason.
If he sees a situation he hasn’t seen or isn’t sure about, he gets to ask questions, he doesn’t have to pretend that he knows everything. So when you ask about his growth, I think we’ve created a culture that’s allowed him to learn and make mistakes and get better and learn from them without crushing him. I think that’s been conducive in his growth.”
What are your thoughts on Lagerwey’s analysis?