MLS's all-time coaching winner, Hall of Famer Sigi Schmid died on Christmas

Jason Owens
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/football/sigi-schmid.html" data-ylk="slk:Sigi Schmid">Sigi Schmid</a> won three national championships with UCLA and two MLS Cup titles as the league’s all-time coaching winner. (Getty)
Sigi Schmid won three national championships with UCLA and two MLS Cup titles as the league’s all-time coaching winner. (Getty)

The soccer world lost a towering figure from Major League Soccer when Sigi Schmid died on Christmas in a Los Angeles hospital.

He was 65 years old. The cause of his death was not reported.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Schmid was hospitalized for three weeks in need of a heart transplant.

Schmid won 2 titles, was 2-time Coach of the Year

Schmid coached for 18 years in MLS for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew, tallying a league-record 266 regular season and playoff wins. His MLS regular season record stands at 240-183-125.

“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,” a family statement provided by the Sounders read.

Schmid won two MLS Cup titles as head coach, one with the Galaxy in 2002 and one with the Crew in 2008. He was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year. He retired from his second stint with the Galaxy with six games left in the 2018 season.

A legend at UCLA

Prior to joining MLS in 1999, Schmid spent 19 years as the head coach of UCLA’s men’s soccer team, compiling a 322–63–3 record while regularly producing players who played on the U.S. National team. The Bruins won three NCAA championships under Schmid’s watch.

“Today’s news comes as a shock and a devastating blow to our entire community across MLS and U.S. Soccer,” a statement from Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer read. “Sigi was someone I respected immensely, not only for his success as a coach and dedication to his craft, but more importantly as a man and someone that truly left a positive mark on the people he encountered every day.”

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