As the Columbus Crew continues to add players to the roster, the Black & Gold are doing the same with the first team staff. The club announced Tuesday afternoon two in-house promotions and three hirings to the first team staff for the 2021 season.
Head athletic trainer Chris Shenberger received a promotion to head of sport science and medicine and David Brauzer will now serve as manager of equipment operations after five years as head equipment manager.
The new additions to the staff include Daniel Hickler as the new director of performance, Chris Rumsey as the head athletic trainer and Blair Gavin as the first team video coach analyst. All five have previous experience in Major League Soccer as the 2021 season approaches in a little over a month.
Shenberger spent the last three seasons as the head athletic trainer before his promotion this year. Shenberger’s new role has him leading the entire sports science, performance and medical departments for the Black & Gold. He has a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Athletic training from Capital University and Georgia State University, respectively.
Brauzer is in his 17th MLS season and his first in this new role with the Crew. Brauzer was the head equipment manager for five years with the Crew after spending 2008-2016 with D.C. United in the same role. He won the 2014 MLS Equipment Manager of the Year and in his new role for Columbus, Brauzer will lead a new club-wide equipment operations department that oversees the first team, second team and Crew academy.
Hicker comes to Columbus from the San Jose Earthquakes where he was the team’s head of athletic performance and first team strength coach after joining the club in 2017 as a strength and conditioning coach. Hicker has worked for U.S. Soccer in the past and graduated with a Master’s of Exercise Science and Rehabilitation from California University of Pennsylvania.
Rumsey comes to Ohio from Texas. From 2016-20, Rumsey worked with the Houston Dynamo where he was promoted to head athletic trainer in 2018. He is a native of Gahanna, Ohio and an alum of Capital University where he played collegiate soccer for the Crusaders.
Gavin comes to the Crew from the USL Championship. The Black & Gold’s new video analyst was the assistant coach for Phoenix Rising FC the last three years in USL. He is also a former MLS player from 2010-17 where he made appearances for Chivas USA, the Seattle Sounders and the New England Revolution. Gavin played college soccer for Akron under current Crew head coach Caleb Porter.
The Columbus Crew players and staff continue to participate in preseason training camp in Chula Vista, California until the end of this week. Preseason games are just around the corner, as is the season opener on April 8 in Managua, Nicaragua against Real Esteli in the CONCACAF Champions League.