By Tim Peterson
(Los Angeles) – Former LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid passed away on Tuesday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at the age of 65 his family said Wednesday.
Schmid coached the Galaxy in two different stints including this past season before stepping down in September with six games remaining. Schmid is the winningest coach in MLS history with 266 regular season and post-season victories. He also coached the Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders in an 18-year MLS coaching career.
Schmid won two MLS titles along the way, the first with the Galaxy in 2002 and the second with the Crew in 2008. He also won four U.S. Open Cups.
Schmid began his coaching career at UCLA, leading the Bruins to three NCAA titles in 19 seasons before moving on to the MLS.
“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.
“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.”
The Galaxy also released a statement earlier today.
“The LA Galaxy are deeply saddened by the passing of Sigi Schmid. Sigi was a pillar of the Southern California and United States soccer community. He was a pioneer and his influence on the sport of soccer in the United States will long be felt. Sigi was a man of character, a good father, husband, friend and a passionate coach who respected everyone. He will always be a part of our family. We mourn his loss and offer our deepest sympathies to his family during this difficult time.”
Schmid was hospitalized three weeks ago as he awaited a heart transplant.