A memorial service for Sigi Schmid will take place Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at American Martyrs Catholic Church in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Schmid, the winningest coach in Major League Soccer history, passed away Dec. 25. He was 65.
There will be a live stream for those unable to attend, it can be found at https://livestream.com/americanmartyrs.
The German-born Schmid was a star midfielder at UCLA in the mid-1970s and coached youth soccer in Los Angeles before becoming an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1977. He took over as Bruins head coach in 1980 and amassed 322 wins over a 19-year career, guiding the team to three NCAA Division I championships. His .810 winning percentage is the sixth-best mark in NCAA Division I history.
Schmid took over as LA Galaxy head coach in 1999. He had coaching stints with the Galaxy (1999-2004), Columbus Crew (2006-08), Seattle Sounders (2009-16) and a second stint with the Galaxy (2017-18). He won the 2002 MLS Cup with the Galaxy and captured the 2008 crown with Columbus. He compiled 240 regular seasons wins during, reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs 13 times and recording 28 playoff wins.
He is one of two coaches in MLS history to lead two different teams to MLS Cup titles. His teams won three MLS Supporters’ Shields, five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and he was twice named MLS coach of the year. The league announced last week that its coach of the year award will now be known as the Sigi Schmid coach of the year award.
Schmid also served as the chair of the United Soccer Coaches professional coaches advocacy group. It was in this role where he advocated on behalf of all coaches, head coaches and assistants, throughout all levels of pro soccer.
“When [past president] Lesle Gallimore asked him to take on the role as chair of the Professional Coaches Advocacy Group for United Soccer Coaches, he stepped right up,” United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel said. “His gratitude for his own career made him even more supportive of his coaching colleagues of today and those yet to come. It’s hard to imagine MLS without him.”
Schmid spent time with U.S. Soccer, serving as an assistant coach at the 1994 World Cup and two stints as the U.S. U-20 National Team head coach.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of American coaching icon, Sigi Schmid,” Gallimore said in a statement. “My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his wife, Valerie and the entire Schmid family. I grew up in the South Bay and had my first encounter with a young Sigi when I was in the 8th grade and was one of two girls at Golden West Soccer camp at Pepperdine in the summer of 1977. Sigi was one of the coaches and along with other coaching legends in the making, I now know how fortunate I was to have met this man. Sigi, his brother Roland, and his father Fritz pioneered soccer in the area where I grew up and it was never a question as to whether girls & women should play, referee, or coach. The game was for everyone.”
As successful as he was as a coach, many people will remember him for being the warm and generous man he was. All one had to do was take a look at social media after his passing to see all the heartfelt messages from fellow coaches, former players and others who crossed paths with him throughout his life.
“Sigi, though seemingly stoic, was a giving and kind-hearted man who included everyone who loved the game as much as he did; to me he was truly larger than life, Gallimore said. “When our Seattle Sounders joined the MLS and Sigi was named as our first manager, I’ve never been so excited to follow a team. After his departure from Seattle we kept in touch and after my UW team suffered a tough loss at UCLA two seasons ago, Sigi popped his head into our team tent after the game to give me his take on the game and encouraged me to stay confident in my ability and insight. He didn’t have to do that, but did.”
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family has asked to consider a tax-deductible memorial gift to support the men’s soccer program at UCLA.
Donations can be directed to UCLA Athletics, Attn: Emily Lerner; UCLA Athletics, P.O. Box 24044, Los Angeles CA, 90024. Emily may also be reached via phone (310-206-3302), fax (310-206-2783), or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be submitted online. Please note that your gift is in memory of Sigi Schmid. Checks can be made payable to the UCLA Foundation.