Ted Dumitru

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Ted Dumitru
Personal information
Full name Theodore Dumitru
Date of birth (1939-09-02) 2 September 1939 (age 75)
Place of birth Bucharest, Romania
Teams managed
Years Team
1964–1966 Universitatea Craiova
1967–1968 Romania U-23
1969–1970 Altay Izmir
1970–1971 Beşiktaş
1971–1972 Mersin İdmanyurdu
1974–1975 Rochester Lancers
1976–1980 New York Apollo
1980–1982 Zambia
1983–1984 Swaziland
1985–1988 Kaizer Chiefs
1997–1999 Mamelodi Sundowns
1999–2000 Orlando Pirates
2000 Manning Rangers
2000–2001 Namibia
2001–2002 Mamelodi Sundowns
2003–2005 Kaizer Chiefs
2005–2006 South Africa

Theodore "Ted" Dumitru (born Dumitru Teodorescu on 2 September 1939 in Bucharest, Romania) is a retired football manager who last worked as a technical director for Mamelodi Sundowns in the South African Premier Soccer League. He was the former coach of the South Africa national football team.[1] Dumitru is one of a few coaches to have guided the 'big three' in South Africa Kaizer Chiefs, Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.[2]

Playing and coaching career[edit]

Dumitru started playing football with local club Sportul Studenţesc in the late 1950s, he had a short run because injuries had ended his career prematurely; as a result, he started to coach Ştiinţa Craiova known as Universitatea Craiova present-day, in the 1964–65 season, the first for the Students in Divizia A. He was only 25 years old, thus establishing a record in the Divizia A as the youngest coach ever. After saving the team from relegation in the first season as a coach, in the second he finished in the eighth place. He left Craiova in 1966 and was for a while the coach of Romania U-23 Olympic team. In 1969 he went to Turkey where he managed Altay Izmir, Beşiktaş and then Mersin.[3]

In 1973, Dumitru was called back by the Securitate in Romania but he refused. He arrived in Germany where he requested political asylum. In Romania, he was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison during the communist regime rule. In 1974 he began coaching again, but this time across the ocean, in the United States with Rochester Lancers in the NASL.[4] He continued to train them, before moving to New York Apollo club, later renamed United. From that moment he was known as Ted Dumitru.

In 1980, Dumitru arrived in Africa, and was appointed as head coach of Zambia, and leads the team in the preliminaries of the African Cup of Nations together with Dick Chama, qualifying them in the final tournament in 1982, but he did not participate, due to his U.S. passport and was replaced by Yugoslav coach Ante Bulešic. Being that the tournament was hosted by Libya, a country where Americans are not welcomed. During his stint in Zambia, Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda once said of him: "He is more than a coach; he is a son of Africa. He is a humanist who puts sports well-being ahead of his profession."

He left Zambia and signed a contract with the African Football Confederation, in which he was sent to Swaziland, then in Namibia to help develop football in those countries.

In 1985, Dumitru arrived in South Africa signing with Kaizer Chiefs, with whom he won many national trophies. Then he moved to Mamelodi Sundowns, the other big club in South Africa, winning two more titles in 1998 and 1999. In South Africa he also coached the club of Orlando Pirates and Manning Rangers. Dumitru was appointed manager of the Namibian national team in November 2000 replacing Lucky Richter. He joined again Mamelodi Sundowns leading the South African side to an African Champions League Final in 2001 in his second spell with the club.[5] He then returned to Kaiser Chiefs with whom he won two titles in a row in 2004 and 2005, and made a big step towards the national team of Bafana-Bafana in November 2005 but unfortunately was not performing well, being dismissed in February 2006, after the final tournament in African Cup of Nations.

He published a book about football, 'Maximal Training' which was published in Germany.

In South Africa, Dumitru is nicknamed Master Ted, The Professor or Mr Magic.[6]

The style of the game is a form of expression” Ted Dumitru is regarded as by far the most successful coach in the South African domestic scene.



Kaizer Chiefs
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates


  1. ^ "Former South Africa Coach Ted Dumitru - Pitso Mosimane Was The Only One Worthy Of Bafana". Goal.com. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  2. ^ "Namibia name new coach". BBC Sport. 2000-11-04. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Dumitru Teoderescu Super League Turkey" (in Turkish). Mackolik.com. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  4. ^ "NASL all time coaches registry". National Soccerhall. 2006-06-10. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  5. ^ Stokkermans, Karel. "African Club Competitions 2001". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  6. ^ "Dumitru faces tough challenge". BBC Sport. 2005-11-25. Retrieved 2008-11-18.