Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in Major League Soccer history, died on Tuesday, three weeks after being hospitalized in need of a heart transplant. Schmid was 65.
The former LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders coach last coached in MLS earlier in 2018 with the Galaxy, but was fired in September.
Schmid posted the most coaching victories in MLS history, winning MLS Cup titles with the Galaxy (2002) and Crew (2008) as well as four U.S. Open Cup titles with the Sounders, and three total Supporters’ Shields. He finished with 266 combined regular season and playoff victories over the course of 18 seasons.
Before he began his MLS coaching career, Schmid enjoyed an outstanding run at UCLA, winning three NCAA titles during a 19-year tenure in charge of the Bruins, turning UCLA into one of the nation’s true powerhouses.
The Schmid family released the following statement about Schmid’s passing:
“Our family is deeply saddened by his passing and is taking this time to grieve the loss of a tremendous husband, father, leader and mentor. We also recognize how much Sigi meant to so many people across the U.S. Soccer landscape and around the world at different levels of the game. That community meant a great deal to him as well. While we mourn his loss, we appreciate privacy during this challenging time.”
Born in Germany before moving to California at the age of 4, Schmid played collegiately at UCLA before beginning his head coaching career as a high school coach at the age of 22. After a stint as an assistant at UCLA, Schmid became the school’s head coach in 1980, beginning an impressive head coaching run that lasted nearly four decades.