Report: Peter Nowak applies for Scottish job

Photo: Earl Gardner

NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect Nowak’s denial of the report. 

Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak has applied for the open managerial job at Hearts in the Scottish Premier League, according to a Scottish newspaper report.

Nowak is one of at least two applicants for the position, the Edinburgh Evening News reported Saturday after speaking with Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas, who indicated the club wanted to hire a new manager before training begins next month. The Hearts position opened up Thursday when manager Paulo Sergio declined a new contract Thursday, just one month after leading the club to the Scottish Cup.

Union spokeswoman Aimee Cicero said the Union had no comment.

Nowak subsequently told the Philadelphia Daily News’ Kerith Gabriel the report was “absolutely false.”

Nowak, 47, is in his third year with the Union, for whom he holds the dual titles of manager and executive vice president of soccer operations. He became the club’s first coach in 2009 in advance of its 2010 expansion season and built a technical staff comprised largely of people who previously coached with him or played with or for him. In the process, he established groundbreaking ties with local youth and semipro affiliates, including the USL PRO’s Harrisburg City Islanders and Reading United AC of the USL’s Premier Development League.

Before joining the Union, Nowak managed D.C. United from 2004 to 2006 and the U.S. Olympic team in 2008, serving on then-U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley’s staff from the day he left United in 2006 until the day he joined the Union. He is the only person to win the Major League Soccer championship both as a player and coach, collecting titles with the Chicago Fire in 1998 and D.C. United in 2004.

In July, Nowak is set to coach the MLS in the league’s all-star game.

After making a surprise playoff appearance last year, Nowak’s club has struggled to a 2-7-2 record and the league’s second lowest point total in 2012. He became a polarizing figure this year after selling or trading popular players Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Califf, and Danny Mwanga as part of a broad remaking of the roster. However, the club’s on-field prospects appeared to be turning around after consecutive wins in the U.S. Open Cup.

His top assistant, John Hackworth, would likely be in line for the manager’s position on at least an interim basis if Nowak departs. Hackworth has coached the Union during matches Nowak has missed due to suspension or other matters. He previously served on the U.S. national team’s coaching staff with Nowak and was Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year in 2008. Hackworth spent four years as head coach at the University of South Florida, where he won the Conference USA title and coach of the year award in 1998.


  1. Now all the rats are leaving the ship.

    • On the serious I wonder if he was “encouraged” to apply. It saves a lot more face than firing him.

      • As long as it doesn’t turn out that he didn’t really want to go to Europe and ultimately ends up in Portland. If only for DM10’s sake.

      • I really wonder whether the plan is clear out everyone for a buyout. Seriously this looks like almost every corporate takeover that happens in America. Clear out high salaries. Dump CEO. Maximize potential upside. Run in open cup plus good draft picks for stinking it up and you have a team worth more than three years ago.

        Imreally think the owners had no idea what they were getting into have lost big in heir personal Ives and want out.

        I hope desperately this happens soon if so and maybe we can get soccer owners and a new manager.

      • reading all of these moves between the lines, its clear that ownership believes their business model won’t support a championship caliber team. Perhaps they were hoping to ride out the goodwill associated with a new franchise, and last year’s surprise run raised fans expectations too soon.

      • Seeing they pretty much singlehandedly killed fan goodwill it would make sense seeing how tone deaf the team is PR wise.

      • Well if he takes this job they don’t have to buy him out. More reason to encourage him.

      • The owners have plenty of cash. Trust me they are not broke and/or scrambling….

        The Union must be beating ALL of their cash flow projections by a fairly wide margin as the result of the recent salary dump. Their 2012 payroll is significantly less than planned. So, the only issues are 1)they’ve screwed up the roster, and 2)are completely and utterly tone deaf to that fact that their fans hate the coach and FO more each and every day.

        You make good points but they ain’t selling….

  2. Just when I thought I’d heard everything…..

  3. “Mad Vlad” Romanov and Mad King Peter would make the most hilarious owner/manager combo since Steinbrenner and Martin. As a Celtic fan, the only thing better than pumping the diet Huns would be if they were managed by Nowack. Please, PLEASE let this happen.

  4. the kid union says:


  5. Obviously we all want him to go…

    but what does this say for the future? If the FO is really pushing him out and encouraging this they must, tacitly at least, be agreeing he screwed the team up. Well where were they last week when he shipped Mwanga out? Why the sudden change? Something doesn’t feel right about this…

  6. Philly Cheese says:

    I agree saving face might make this realistic. Union wasn’t going to fire him before All Star game, but if he has a great ” opportunity” to get out of town/country, and Union doesn’t have to buy out his contract……great news. Nowak saying “report is false” almost guarantees that it is true.

  7. Seriously.
    If FM has taught me anything its to deny, deny, deny even if it’s 100% true.

  8. Yeay! If true. But they will never take him. The job is too good for him.

  9. The Truth says:

    Finally, a rumor I HOPE is true!!!

  10. Matt Kirk says:

    Where is Hollywood? Where is the writing staff for the Union? Where is the hidden camera? Can they tell us we got punk’d already?

    This is just ridiculous. Not only do we have one of the worst records in the league, we have circus going on off the field.
    I want to say that these claims or rumors about Nowak are just ridiculous but I thought that when Le Toux was rumored to be traded, along with when Califf was rumored to be traded but look at them now.
    I am not saying I do not want to see him go, I think it would help but like PMM said why now? What is going on in the FO of the Union?
    Bottom line is that there needs to be more transparency with the club and its fans/followers. This is just unacceptable from the Union. This is not good either way.

    • This makes no sense except for the fact that Hearts owner is utterly bonkers. The story of Hearts since Mad Vlad took over reads much like the story of the Union this season complete with inexplicable and damaging personnel moves, managers and players sacked for no reason, mutinies, mad tirades, and an all around circus atmosphere. King Peter would be perfect!

      • I really can see no way he get’s Hearts…even saying, “Nowak is the coach of Hearts” sounds utterly ridiculous.
        I don’t know what to say, I really don’t. This is too good for TV or the movies.

  11. Please, take him and end our suffering!

  12. the kid union says:

    I think Nowak is all a bigger picture than whats figured. I have no clue at this point…

  13. The Black Hand says:

    Dear Hearts,
    Piotr Nowak is one of the best. He will put your lads into immediate contention. Sign him now, before it is too late. We can have him in Edinburgh by Sunday supper.
    The Philadelphia Union Supporters

  14. Okay so if this is true, is it management forcing him out, or is it Pitor jumping ship bc he spotted a job opening?

    I would tend to think the latter, since ownership had no way of seeing this job opening coming.

    • Maybe ownership saw the opening and suggested it for him. I will donate if there is a transfer fee for coaches.

  15. Looks like the one guy we wanted to go won’t! I still think the club has money problems ,it’s the only thing that would make sense in this whole frigging mess.I’m just so disappointed in the organization, I thought this time they would get it right.

  16. As an avid Hearts supporter, sorry, but I can’t see us getting rid of Nowak this way. Hearts pulled off a huge unexpected win in the Scottish Cup and, thus, gets a good spot in the Europa League. Add to that the fact the SPL, I believe, gets its second Champion’s League spot back this coming season (and, with Rangers in the crapper, the non-Celtic spot is up for grabs). I can’t see ownership, even though Romanov is crazy, rolling the dice with an MLS coach. Also, Hearts has specifically stated its intention of growing its young crop of players AND actually giving them playing time. Nowak does not fit this mold.

    • WilkersonMcLaser says:

      Then again, Hearts’ crazy ownership just might be bonkers to give it to Piotr. Romanov strikes me as the sort who puts personal loyalty and connections over pedigree. Just sayin’. If he likes Nowak (who knows? maybe they’ll be like two megalomaniacs in a pod!), Pete’s resume is just good enough to make it justifiable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *