After 20 years and nine championships with the Blast, Kevin Healey joins his son, Pat, who was named the Harrisburg Heat's head coach and general manager last week. (Glenn Graham / Baltimore Sun video)
Blast president and general manager Kevin Healey announced he has left the organization to become a minority owner and president of the Major Arena Soccer League rival Harrisburg Heat.
At Harrisburg, Healey, 61, will join his son, Pat Healey, who was named the Heat’s head coach and general manager last week after retiring from a 10-year playing career with the Blast. At Friday afternoon’s news conference, which took place at Liberatore’s in Timonium, the Blast also announced that assistant general manager Mike Conway has been promoted to vice president of soccer operations.
Kevin Healey’s departure ends a 20-year run with the organization that began in 1998 when owner Ed Hale Sr. bought the franchise and named him head coach and general manager.
In 2002, Healey stepped down from coaching and was named team president to go with his general manager position, becoming the architect of nine league titles. A Baltimore native who resides in Bel Air, he leaves with the Blast being three-time defending MASL champions.
“To get the job in 1998 as coach and general manager, I was ecstatic. And then to become president and general manager in 2002, I couldn’t believe it was happening to me because I was a big fan of all soccer, but certainly the Baltimore Blast,” said Healey, who starred at Loyola Maryland during his playing days. “Over the course of time, we strived to achieve excellence and obviously we had a lot of on-field success led by our coaches and our players. We’ve had a lot of success off the field, too. Our front office has been championship caliber and they put it out there.”
The Blast have emerged as the most successful franchise in professional indoor soccer, with wins on and off the field. When Heat owner Carl Delmont offered a piece of the franchise and the role of team president, Healey couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join his son and try to turn around the once-proud franchise. Back in the day, when there was no soccer being played in Baltimore on a given night, it was the norm for the Healey family to make the trek to Harrisburg to catch a Heat game.
“I know where that franchise was and I know we can bring it back to that level,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work, and I’m looking to do my part to improve that franchise and in reality help the league get to where they need to get to.”
After losing their top defender and a vital team leader in Pat Healey last week, the Blast lost another valuable asset in the senior Healey. Hale said the franchise, like years’ past, will find a way to maintain the winning tradition with many core pieces in place. With head coach Danny Kelly and assistant David Bascome leading the way, the team returns the majority of its players and has much of its front office still in place.
Hale appreciated Healey’s strong commitment to the franchise.
“We had a very successful, cordial relationship,” said Hale, who anticipates doing more administrative work for the team moving forward. “He had his strengths and I had mine, and I think together, along with Danny, it worked very well and we have the record to show for it. I think the key was everyone knew what their position was and we worked together. I don’t know how to replicate the relationship we had and it’s going to be tough to find, but I think we’ll make due.”