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Governor? President? Who’s running the Rapids right now?

An update on some changes in the Front Office since Tim Hinchey’s departure.

Soccer: FIFA World Cup Qulifier-Trinidad & Tobago at USA Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Quite a few people have noticed that the Colorado Rapids have a Governor named Jim Martin, who is also President and CEO of KSE. Martin has actually been there as the Governor before Hinchey left, we just never noticed.

Shot from the internet archive wayback machine from Feb. 2, 2017.

So now that’s out of the way, what’s going on with the search for a new Team President? Who is running the Rapids in the meantime?

I spoke with Ryan Madden, the Rapids’ Director of Communications, about two roles that have changed within the club: Wayne Brant is now Interim Chief Business Officer and Pádraig Smith is now Interim General Manager.

Brant is essentially in charge of the the business side of things: day-to-day operations, the long-term strategic vision, and assisting with organizational strategy. Brant has held various roles within the club since 2011 and was “instrumental” in bringing the 2015 MLS All-Star game to Colorado. His most recent title was the Vice President of Business Operations, and now he’s still doing that, but on a much larger scale.

Smith is responsible for everything on the soccer side: overseeing the technical staff, the development academy, partnerships, acquisitions, the link between Arsenal and the Rapids, and will represent the Rapids on MLS committees.

Technically, their roles are “interim”, but after I spoke with Ryan I started to wonder how other teams’ Front Offices are structured. Could we just see these interim titles disappear one day and suddenly the Rapids have a (more or less) two-leadership system with a business side and a soccer side?

Turns out, seven of the other 10 teams in the Western Conference have official Team Presidents, but only one has just a President without a partner (that one is Minnesota United). Every other team seems to have some combination of a President and a CEO or COO, or a Chief Business Officer, or a General Manager.

From a financial perspective, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Kroenke didn’t hire a new President, just shifted roles of current employees. There doesn’t appear to be a timeline for replacing Hinchey, so looking at the bigger picture, could the Rapids be moving towards a two-prong leadership approach?

Would this be better or worse for the organization? What do you think?

UPDATE 7/25:

The club sent out an official news release about this on Tuesday, July 25. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Matt Hutchings said: “Wayne and Padraig are well-deserved of these responsibilities. With Wayne’s business acumen and Padraig’s international experience and soccer expertise, we are very confident in their ability to successfully guide this club.”