Sigi Schmid, former Galaxy head coach and MLS champion, dies at age 65
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history, has died. He was 65.
Schmid’s family said he died Tuesday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Schmid was hospitalized three weeks ago as he awaited a heart transplant.
“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,” the family said in a statement Wednesday through the Seattle Sounders, one of the three MLS teams Schmid coached.
Forever a legend.
Thank you, Sigi. pic.twitter.com/bz8ibnzjHl
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) December 27, 2018
“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.”
Schmid had an MLS-record 266 regular-season and postseason victories in 18 seasons with the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Sounders. He led teams to two MLS titles, the first with the Galaxy in 2002 and the second with the Crew in 2008, and was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year. He stepped down as coach of the Galaxy in September with six games left in the regular season.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former MLS head coach Sigi Schmid.
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time, and his legacy will continue to live on through the impact he's made on the game in the United States. pic.twitter.com/vGS7UX51Ey
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 27, 2018
“Major League Soccer is devastated by the news of the passing of Sigi Schmid,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Sigi will go down as one of the leading figures in the history of our league. From Los Angeles to Columbus and Seattle, Sigi won more games than any coach in MLS history and led his clubs to multiple championships, including two MLS Cups and five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups. Sigi’s passion for soccer was unrivaled, and he was loved and admired by everyone in MLS. We deeply mourn his passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Valerie, their children, and all of his loved ones.”
Sigi Schmid will go down as one of the most influential & impactful members of the American soccer community. A great loss. RIP Coach.
— Rob Stone (@RobStoneONFOX) December 26, 2018
Schmid coached UCLA for 19 seasons before moving on to MLS, leading the Bruins to three NCAA titles. Born in West Germany, Schmid moved to Southern California at age 4.