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List of Dundee United F.C. managers

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Peter Houston won the 2010 Scottish Cup Final as Dundee United manager
Peter Houston won the 2010 Scottish Cup Final as Dundee United manager

Dundee United Football Club is a professional football club based in Dundee, Scotland. Since being formed in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian, the club has employed a manager to run the team, the first being Pat Reilly. The club's longest serving and most successful manager is Jim McLean, who held the position from 1971 to 1993 and won three major honours – the Scottish Football League Premier Division title in 1982-83 and consecutive Scottish League Cup wins in 1979 and 1980. Two Dundee United managers have won the Scottish CupIvan Golac in 1994 and Peter Houston in 2010.

Managerial history

Dundee Hibernian's first manager, Pat Reilly, had no previous background in professional football, but was one of a group of local businessmen who had set up the club. Initially the role was "secretary-manager", with the emphasis as much on the administrative business of the club as on running the football team.[1] Reilly had a flair for publicity, and under him the club successfully applied for membership of the Scottish Football League in 1910.[2] Apart from a two-year spell during the First World War when he was replaced by the club's first player-manager, Herbert Dainty, Reilly remained in the role until 1922, shortly before the club was reorganised as Dundee United.[1]

Former Scotland goalkeeper Jimmy Brownlie was the club's most successful manager in the interwar period. He had three spells in charge, the last as co-manager with Sam Irving. Under Brownlie, United won the Division Two title in the 1924-25 season, their first national honour, and entered the top flight of Scottish football for the first time. Although relegated in 1927, they won the Second Division again in 1928-29 and were promoted for a third time in 1930-31, shortly before the end of Brownlie's first spell as manager.[3]

Prior to the appointment of former player Jerry Kerr as manager in 1959, Dundee United had spent only four seasons in Division One, and had been absent from it since 1932. After winning promotion in Kerr's first season in charge, the club became established in the top flight of Scottish football, and between 1960 and 2016 spent only one season below it. Under Kerr, United reached their first major national semi-final in 1963 and qualified for European competition for the first time in 1966, recording a notable victory over Fairs Cup holders Barcelona. Kerr retired as manager in 1971, to be replaced by Jim McLean.[4]

Mixu Paatelainen was in charge from October 2015 to May 2016, with the title of head coach
Mixu Paatelainen was in charge from October 2015 to May 2016, with the title of head coach

Building on Kerr's achievements, McLean instituted a successful youth policy that set the foundations for future success. The club won their first major honour, the Scottish League Cup, in 1979 and retained the trophy in 1980. The club became champions of Scotland for the first time when they won the Scottish Football League Premier Division title in 1982-83. During the 1980s, McLean's United teams regularly made significant progress in European competitions, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987. Under McLean, however, Dundee United developed a reputation for failing in major finals at Hampden Park; he never won the Scottish Cup, losing six finals, whilst there were also two League Cup final defeats.[5]

McLean spent 21 years as manager of Dundee United until his retirement in 1993, becoming the club's longest serving manager. At that point, the club had had only two managers in a 34-year period, but since then have had a much higher turnover. Tam Courts, appointed in 2021, is the club's eighteenth manager or head coach in the 28 years since McLean. Up until 2000, McLean himself had chosen his successors, having become club chairman in 1988 and initially combining this role with that of manager, a unique situation in Scottish football.[5] His immediate successor, Ivan Golac, won the previously elusive Scottish Cup in 1994, but he left the club the following year shortly before United were relegated after 35 years in the top flight.[6] Promotion back to the Premier Division was won under Billy Kirkwood,[4] who was followed as manager by Tommy McLean, the chairman's brother.[4] Dundee United won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010, under Peter Houston.[7] Other managers to have taken the club to major cup finals are Tommy McLean, Gordon Chisholm, Craig Levein and Jackie McNamara.

Following another relegation from the top flight in 2016, Ray McKinnon led the team to win the Challenge Cup for lower division clubs in 2017. Promotion back to the Premiership was achieved under Robbie Neilson in 2019-20, with United declared champions in a season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

List

Managerial dates are sourced from Rundo & Watson (2009) and Soccerbase.[8] Statistics are taken from the Arab Archive website[9] and include all national and international competitions. Matches in unofficial wartime competitions played during the Second World War are included, but otherwise minor and local competitions (such as the Forfarshire Cup) are not; nor are matches that were abandoned or declared void, for example matches in the abandoned 1939-40 Scottish League season. Statistics are correct as of the match played on 20 July 2021.

Name Nationality From To P W D L F A Win % Honours
Pat Reilly  Scotland Jun 1909 Apr 1915 148 49 34 65 217 258 33.1
Bert Dainty[a]  England Apr 1915 Dec 1917 No matches in major competitions
Pat Reilly  Scotland Dec 1917 Dec 1922 45 11 10 24 53 78 24.4
Peter O'Rourke  Scotland Dec 1922 Mar 1923 2 1 0 1 3 2 50.0
Willie McAndrew[b][a]  Scotland Mar 1923 May 1923 No matches in major competitions
Jimmy Brownlie[c]  Scotland Jun 1923 Apr 1931 328 129 74 125 596 597 39.3 Division Two 1925, 1929
Willie Reid  Scotland Jun 1931 Mar 1934 109 32 17 60 193 278 29.4
Jimmy Brownlie  Scotland Mar 1934 Oct 1936 92 40 17 35 260 206 43.5
George Greig  Scotland Oct 1936 Apr 1938 61 17 12 32 86 137 27.9
Jimmy Brownlie
Sam Irving[d]
 Scotland
 Northern Ireland
Jul 1938 Jun 1939 36 16 3 17 81 74 44.4
Bobby McKay  Scotland Jun 1939 Oct 1939 2 2 0 0 2 0 100.0
Jimmy Allan[e]  Scotland Nov 1939 Oct 1942 84 34 14 36 199 201 40.5
Jimmy Littlejohn  Scotland Oct 1942 Nov 1944 72 27 5 40 144 197 37.5
Charlie McGillivray  Scotland Nov 1944 Oct 1945 34 10 3 21 55 111 29.4
Willie MacFadyen  Scotland Oct 1945 Aug 1954 340 127 55 158 705 760 37.4
Reg Smith  England Sep 1954 Jan 1957 110 38 27 45 235 229 34.5
Ally Gallacher  Scotland Jan 1957 Mar 1957 8 3 1 4 11 26 37.5
Tommy Gray  Scotland Mar 1957 Oct 1958 70 25 13 32 150 170 35.7
Andy McCall  Scotland Oct 1958 Apr 1959 30 6 8 16 43 64 20.0
Jerry Kerr  Scotland Jun 1959 Dec 1971 568 247 124 197 1060 950 43.5
Jim McLean  Scotland Dec 1971 May 1993 1112 535 270 307 1779 1160 48.1 Premier Division 1983
League Cup 1979, 1980
Ivan Golac Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia Aug 1993 Mar 1995 94 31 34 29 114 113 33.0 Scottish Cup 1994
Gordon Wallace[b]  Scotland Mar 1995 30 Mar 1995 2 0 1 1 2 3 0.0
Billy Kirkwood  Scotland 30 Mar 1995 1 Sep 1996 61 29 14 18 106 63 47.5
Tommy McLean  Scotland 10 Sep 1996 5 Sep 1998 93 36 27 30 134 107 38.7
Paul Sturrock  Scotland 5 Sep 1998 7 Aug 2000 85 27 19 39 97 119 31.8
Alex Smith  Scotland 8 Aug 2000 7 Oct 2002 99 31 23 45 109 149 31.3
Paul Hegarty  Scotland 7 Oct 2002 30 Jan 2003 18 4 5 9 20 34 22.2
Ian McCall  Scotland 30 Jan 2003 14 Mar 2005 91 28 23 40 116 149 30.8
Gordon Chisholm  Scotland 14 Mar 2005 10 Jan 2006 36 10 10 16 40 54 27.8
Billy Dodds[b]  Scotland 10 Jan 2006 16 Jan 2006 1 1 0 0 2 1 100.0
Craig Brewster  Scotland 16 Jan 2006 29 Oct 2006 30 3 11 16 28 59 10.0
Craig Levein  Scotland 30 Oct 2006 23 Dec 2009 136 55 40 41 185 160 40.4
Peter Houston  Scotland 26 Dec 2009 28 Jan 2013 150 63 44 43 232 205 42.0 Scottish Cup 2010
Jackie McNamara  Scotland 30 Jan 2013 28 Sep 2015 119 51 24 44 192 173 42.9
Dave Bowman[b]  Scotland 28 Sep 2015 14 Oct 2015 1 0 0 1 0 3 0.0
Mixu Paatelainen[f]  Finland 14 Oct 2015 4 May 2016 30 8 5 17 31 48 26.7
Gordon Young[b]  Scotland 5 May 2016 15 May 2016 3 2 1 0 10 7 66.7
Ray McKinnon  Scotland 16 May 2016 24 Oct 2017 73 38 16 19 112 80 52.1 Challenge Cup 2017
Laurie Ellis[b]  Scotland 24 Oct 2017 8 Nov 2017 2 2 0 0 4 1 100.0
Csaba László  Hungary 8 Nov 2017 30 Sep 2018 45 18 13 14 70 59 40.0
Laurie Ellis[b]  Scotland 30 Sep 2018 8 Oct 2018 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.0
Robbie Neilson[f]  Scotland 8 Oct 2018 21 June 2020 70 40 16 14 111 62 57.1 Championship 2020[g]
Micky Mellon  Scotland 6 July 2020 25 May 2021 46 15 15 16 45 58 32.6
Tam Courts[f]  Scotland 7 June 2021 4 4 0 0 9 1 100.0

Notes

  1. ^ a b Player-manager
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Caretaker manager
  3. ^ Player-manager until 1924
  4. ^ Joint managers
  5. ^ The club did not operate during the 1940-41 season; Allan was actually in charge until July 1940 and again from June 1941
  6. ^ a b c Head coach
  7. ^ Second Tier

References

  1. ^ a b Rundo & Watson, p.269
  2. ^ Rundo & Watson, p.11
  3. ^ Rundo & Watson, p.265
  4. ^ a b c Rundo & Watson, p.267
  5. ^ a b Rundo & Watson, p.268
  6. ^ Rundo & Watson, p.266
  7. ^ "Dundee Utd 3 - 0 Ross County". BBC Sport. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Dundee United Managers". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Club Managers". Arab Archive. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
Sources
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List of Dundee United F.C. managers
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