When Denis Hamlett was let go by the Fire on November 24th of last year, my personal reaction was a bit mixed. I thought it was the right move for the Fire, but I was a bit sad to see Denis go. Though he could be pretty harsh to some journalists on the Fire beat, Denis seemed to take a liking to me (something I attribute to the fact that I'm young and seem completely non-threatening) and we became something like friends by the end of the season.
So, when the Fire chose to part ways with Hamlett on November 24th, I thought it was only natural that I reached out to him. I sent him a quick email offering my sympathy and blog space -- if he ever wanted his side of the story out, I would be more than willing to write about it -- but he never got back to me. At the time, I didn't really think anything of it.
But as the weeks have gone by -- and Hamlett has remained unemployed -- I began to think more and more about the Fire's former coach. My original question of "where will Denis end up?" changed to "will Denis land a coaching gig?" I was interested in hearing his story/status and it finally came out last night, thanks to ESPN Chicago's Charlie Corr. Corr spoke briefly with Hamlett about his coaching prospects. Denis was as illuminating as ever.
"I've got some stuff I'm working on, but I'd like to keep it on the down low for right now," Hamlett told Corr. "When it gets done, I'll be more than happy to fill you in on the details."
Solely going from that statement, I'm not so sure that Denis will end up with a coaching job in MLS this year. Maybe his reputation got the best of him this time around. Or maybe the Fire isn't alone in making the switch to a more attractive style of soccer.
Whatever the case, I hope Denis lands on his feet soon. If nothing else, he is a very loyal, hard working guy that would bring a lot of passion and soccer knowledge to any club. He might not be the best head coaching option at this point (he still has to figure out how to get along better with his players...) but I think he could be a solid assistant for a lot of teams. Maybe he's unwilling to go for that. Who really knows? Denis certainly isn't giving any info out. But if I'm running a MLS club that is in need of an assistant, I'm taking a hard look at Hamlett. Lay into me all you want on that one. I'm sticking to it.