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Dir played youth soccer with the Chicago Kickers. He attended Western Illinois University, where he majored in broadcasting. In 1980, the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League drafted Dir with their first selection in the 1980 NASL College Draft. He suffered an injury in his first season and never played in a league game for the team. He later played for the Colorado Comets in the USISL.
In 1989, Dir began his coaching career as an assistant with the Colorado Foxes in the American Professional Soccer League. In 1990, Regis University hired Dir as head coach of the men's soccer team. His teams won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference both seasons with a record of 10-5-2 in 1990 and 9-5-4 in 1991. He was voted the 1990 RMAC Coach of the Year. In 1992, he left Regis to become head coach of the Colorado Foxes of the American Professional Soccer League. In his two and a half seasons with the team, he won the APSL championship twice as well as the pro cup and regular season championship in each year. In May 1994, he resigned as head coach when his wife, who was a flight attendant, was transferred to a new location.
Dir was approached by Major League Soccer (MLS) which was preparing for its first season to become the head of player personnel in charge of all scouting and creation of the original MLS player pool. Dir worked with Sunil Gulati as a director of player personnel for the new league for two years. In 1994, Dir left the league position and became the first head coach of the Dallas Burn, a position he held from 1996, the club's inaugural year, until 2000. He was the longest serving of the original ten MLS head coaches, winning the 1997 U.S. Open Cup. This remains the team's only championship. Dir remains in the top five for all time MLS wins as a head coach with eighty-four.
In 2000, the club fired Dir and he became a soccer broadcaster with ESPN and Fox Sports. He formerly hosted World Cup Tonight in 2002 and was a co-host on MLS Primetime. He also provided color commentary for national team broadcasts as well as MLS Cup on ABC. Currently he works on MLS broadcasts for multiple clubs in the league, and continues as an assistant coach with the U-20 men's national team. Dir has been a coach through four cycles of the U-20 program with various head coaches.
In 2002 Dir became a partner and is serving as president of the Associated Soccer Group, a national soccer education company which operates and oversees the operations of clubs in Dallas, Georgia and Florida. He has consistently been linked to many of MLS's head coaching and technical director vacancies as a candidate for those positions
- Colorado Rapids v. Dallas Burn
- DONALDSON TAKES OVER FOXES' HELM LONGTIME AIDE REPLACES DIR AS TEAM'S HEAD COACH Rocky Mountain News (CO) - Friday, May 6, 1994