The late Sigi Schmid is synonymous with coaching greatness and fittingly the MLS Coach of the Year award will now be named after the league’s all-time winningest coach.
Schmid, who passed away on December 25 at the age of 65, was a coaching legend over the course of two decades in MLS. He won a 2002 MLS Cup title in his first stint coaching his hometown LA Galaxy and captured the title again in 2008 with Columbus Crew SC. The German-born Schmid took over the expansion Seattle Sounders in 2009 before returning to take over the Galaxy in 2017.
“Sigi was an important part of our league from the very early years in our history, and he had a significant impact on everyone he touched throughout his life and coaching career,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement. “While he will be remembered by many in the soccer community for his success on the field, it was his kindness and his great qualities as a father, husband and mentor that made him such as special person.”
Schmid compiled an MLS record 240 regular season wins, and added another 26 postseason victories. He was twice named MLS Coach of the Year — in 1999 and 2008 — and captured five US Open Cup crowns, four with the Sounders. He also won three Supporters’ Shield titles (2002, 2008, 2014).
Schmid, who served as the US men’s national team’s assistant coach at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and twice coached the U-20 side, is also one of just two MLS coaches to guide their team to a Concacaf regional title, leading the Galaxy to the 2000 Champions Cup triumph.
The winner of three NCAA national championships at UCLA before unprecedented MLS success, Schmid was named to the U.S. Soccer National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.