Holy Spirit’s Callaghan gets MLS Head Coaching Job

by Marc Narducci | Jul 8, 2024
Holy Spirit’s Callaghan gets MLS Head Coaching Job
Since graduating from Holy Spirit, B.J. Callaghan has continued to rise on the soccer ladder. Callaghan was recently named the head coach of Major League Soccer’s Nashville SC. 

He is the second South Jersey product serving as a head coach in MLS, joining former Delran product Peter Vermes, who guides Sporting Kansas City. A former star at Rutgers and with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Vermes is in his 16th season coaching Sporting Kansas City, the longest tenure in MLS history.

A 1999 graduate of Holy Spirit who hails from Ventnor, Callaghan was most recently an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team. He served briefly as the USMNT’s interim head coach before Gregg Berhalter was rehired. Callaghan will officially join Nashville SC on July 22. 

He has been with the USMNT since 2019, starting as a strategy analyst before being promoted to assistant coach that same year. 

In his brief stint as interim head coach of the USMNT, Callaghan guided the team to the 2023 Concacaf Nations League championship and the semifinal round of the Gold Cup before returning as an assistant after Berhalter was rehired. 

Before joining the USMNT, he spent seven seasons in his first stint in MLS, working with the Philadelphia Union. Callaghan began as an academy coach, but in the middle of 2014 he served as an assistant coach for the first team under veteran Jim Curtin. 

Among his other coaching jobs were at St. Joseph’s University and Villanova, both as a women’s assistant coach. He was also an assistant men’s coach for Villanova as well. 

Before that he also coached at the club soccer level. 

Callaghan, 43, is a graduate of Ursinus, where he played from 1999-2002. He was a keeper who finished his career with 250 saves. That total was fourth in school history when he graduated and is now sixth. 

During his time at Ursinus, Callaghan shared the goalkeeping duties with another South Jersey product, Tim McDonald, a graduate of Haddon Heights, who recently was named the new basketball coach at Heights. 

Callaghan’s first college coaching job came in 2003 as an assistant for the men’s team at Ursinus.

Coaching is in the family for Callaghan. He is the grandson of long-time Villanova men’s basketball coach Jack Kraft, who guided the Wildcats from 1961-73. Kraft earned 238 wins and a .715 winning percentage. Kraft’s team in 1970-71, lost to UCLA in the NCAA championship game.


Author: Marc Narducci

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