Columbus Crew SC’s offseason of change continued on Wednesday when the club named a new Director of High Performance. Clive Brewer is set to join the Black & Gold staff, coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball.
“Clive has nearly two decades of experience working with some of the top sports organizations across the globe and his addition to the Crew SC technical staff will help in our aspirations to build one of the best sports performance programs in the League,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “Clive’s arrival to the Club is just the beginning of our efforts to reshape our sports science department. We are committed to creating an innovative and results-driven program from top to bottom, from the new training facility we are building at MAPFRE Stadium to the health and medical partnerships we forge in this space and, most importantly, the people we employ in our organization.”
Bezbatchenko first mentioned the addition of a Director of High Performance to the team’s staff during his end-of-year meeting with the media in late October. This was a role that was not filled following the departure of High Performance Director Steve Tashjian, who joined former Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter’s United States Men’s National Team staff following the 2018 season.
“We know we need to improve in that area so that we can have fewer injuries,” Bezbatchenko said on Oct. 21. “And a lot of it, when it comes to the injuries, is about preparing and doing the pre-hab and having processes in place and make sure you’re managing the data and being smart about it. Because we are a club that clearly, with new ownership, we’re ambitious. We’re going to make changes on our roster, including in the Designated Player area. But we also need to make sure that the players that we do have are on the field, and that that we’re not having 13 different lineups.”
Brewer will work directly with head coach Caleb Porter, his assistant coaches and players to evaluate the Crew in training on a daily basis and work to keep the players at an optimal level for performance.
Here is more on Brewer’s background from the team’s release:
During his time with the Toronto Blue Jays, Brewer served as the Assistant Director of High Performance from 2016-2019. In this role, Brewer was responsible for collaborative and integrated player development support system strategies, as well as managing the high performance services of the team. During his time with Toronto, Brewer helped the Blue Jays reach the 2016 American League Championship Series. Similarly, Brewer helped Toronto’s player development system go from being ranked 28th in MLB in 2016 to being ranked third in MLB in 2019.
Prior to working with the Toronto Blue Jays, Brewer spent time as a consultant performance specialist for CPD Sports, working with several high-level sports organizations such as: Manchester United FC of the English Premier League, USA Football, the Scotland National Rugby League, Liverpool Ladies FC and the International Association of Athletics Federation.
From 2011-2014, Brewer worked as the Head of Performance for the Widnes Vikings of the SuperLeague Rugby League. While with the Widnes Vikings, he was tasked with designing the high performance center at the club and managing the strength and conditioning, medical, recovery and sports science delivery program.
Before his stint with the Widnes Vikings, Brewer was the Head of Human Performance for England’s Rugby Football League from 2009-2011. In this role, he served as the national lead for strength and conditioning, sports science, as well as sports medicine and research, overseeing all levels of the National Governing Body structure, including the England teams and Super League clubs.
Brewer also served as the National Program Manager for Athlete Development from 2003-2009. In this position, he led the development and implementation of national strategy for player and athlete performance development, with a focus on World and European Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
A published author, Brewer’s academic background includes a Master of Science in Sports Science from Loughborough University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Sports Science with First Class Honors from Brunel University College. Brewer also holds the following accreditations and certifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (National Strength & Conditioning Association); Registered Strength and Conditioning Specialist (British Olympic Association); Chartered Sports Scientist (British Science Association); Strength and Conditioning Coach, Assessor & Tutor (United Kingdom Strength & Conditioning Association); Interdisciplinary Sports Scientist (British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences); Level 2 Elite Coach (Australian Strength & Conditioning Association); and Coach Education National Tutor Trainer (Sportscotland).
Beyond his accreditations, Brewer has served as the Director of the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (2004-2014), the Vice-Chair of the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (2012-2014) and as an interdisciplinary section chairperson for the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (2003-2005). In 2015, he was awarded a Fellowship of the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association.