TAMPA, Fla. – Mark Briggs, who replaced Mike Petke as coach of Real Monarchs, Monday was named the United Soccer League coach of the year.
Briggs led the Monarchs to the USL regular season championship in a remarkable turnaround year at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Briggs received 41 percent of the vote with Louisville City FC’s James O’Connor earning 31 percent to finish second and Reno 1868 FC’s Ian Russell recording 28 percent to take third.
The 2017 USL Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market. Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2017 USL regular season.
“It hasn’t really hit home because I’m preparing for next year where we’re already trying to bring in the players we want for next year and planning for another successful year,” said Briggs. “I loved every minute of this season, but I love what I do, I’m passionate about what I do and hopefully I can do it for a long time.”
Briggs arrived with the Monarchs to serve as an assistant coach to Petke. But when the former Red Bulls boss was appointed Real Salt Lake’s head coach March 29, one game into the Monarchs’ season, Briggs stepped up to guide the team.
The Monarchs set a regular-season record with a nine-game winning streak on its way to finishing five points clear of its closest rivals while finishing in the top four in the league in goals scored and fewest conceded.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Diego Restrepo
Coach of the Year: Mark Briggs
Defender of the Year: To be announced Tuesday
Rookie of the Year: To be announced Tuesday
Most Valuable Player: To be announced Wednesday