General Manager - Gavin Wilkinson
Gavin Wilkinson, a long-time member of the Timbers organization and a former New Zealand international, serves as the club’s General Manager; he was appointed on Jan. 18, 2010. He first joined the club as a player for the Timbers’ USL First Division side in 2001, before taking over as the head coach and general manager during the club’s final years in the second division from 2007-10. On July 9, 2012, Wilkinson was also named Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2012 MLS season.
As USL-era head coach, Wilkinson assembled a 50-29-39 record over four seasons in the USL First Division/USSF Division-2 Pro League and was a two-time USL First Division Coach of the Year (2007, 2009). He guided the club to three postseason berths, including its only semifinals appearances as a second division club in 2007 and 2009. Wilkinson is also a two-time recipient of the FieldTurf Coach of the Year for the USL First Division (2007, 2009).
He led the Timbers to one of the best seasons in USL First Division history in 2009, which included a record-setting, 24-game unbeaten streak and winning the Commissioner’s Cup. The Timbers set a new single-season, league record with a 24-game unbeaten streak (14-0-10), surpassing the previous mark of 15 games set in 2005. The club’s record-setting streak also ranks among the longest in U.S. Soccer history. During the 2009 campaign, the Timbers scored a league-high 45 goals, shared the lead for the fewest goals allowed (19), and posted a league-best 6-1-8 record on the road. Finishing in first place at 16-4-10 (58pts), Portland was awarded the Commissioner’s Cup as the league’s regular-season champion and earned a berth into the USL First Division semifinals.
In his first season at the helm in 2007, the Timbers advanced to their first USL First Division semifinals and set several USL franchise records, including fewest goals allowed in a single season (18) and shutouts in a single season (14).
A defender during his playing career, Wilkinson’s teams consistently ranked among the league’s defensive leaders and led the Timbers to two of their best defensive seasons as members of the USL First Division. In 2007, Portland set a single-season franchise records for fewest goals allowed (18) and shutouts (14); the Timbers also led the league in fewest goals conceded that season. The Timbers allowed just 19 goals in 2009, once again sharing the league lead in fewest goals allowed. In four seasons, Wilkinson oversaw 39 shutouts in 118 regular-season matches and had two different goalkeepers win Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
Wilkinson’s 13-year professional playing career included time with clubs in six different countries, including Portugal, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. He joined the re-born Timbers for their inaugural USL First Division season in 2001 and played in each of the club’s first six seasons and was a player/assistant coach from 2005-06. He finished his career ranked among the Timbers’ USL franchise career leaders in games (124) and minutes played (10,181).
A New Zealand native, Wilkinson earned 38 caps with the New Zealand National Team and competed in the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cups.
As general manager, Wilkinson started the Timbers’ development team, called the Portland Timbers U-23s, in the fall of 2008. The Timbers U-23s compete in United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League – the top U-23 league in North America – and won the PDL championship in just their second season in 2010, becoming the first undefeated champion in PDL history with a perfect 20-0-0 record through the regular season and playoffs. He was instrumental in starting the Timbers Academy programs, creating a complete development system for the club.
Wilkinson, who holds an “A” coaching license from USSF, founded the youth club Eastside United, based in Gresham, Ore., in 2001. He helped run the club as its coaching director for many years and now serves as an advisor for the club. In 2010, Eastside United FC’s U-18 boys team (’91 Liverpool) won the U.S. Youth Soccer U-18 national championship and became the first youth club team from Oregon to win a national title since 1994. He and his wife, Heather, have two children, Kienan and Brooke.