UCLA legend Sigi Schmid passed away yesterday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He was admitted to the hospital on December 10 in need of a heart transplant.
A native of West Germany, Schmid moved to Southern California at the age of just four. At UCLA, Schmid was a four-year starter as a midfielder from 1972 to 1975. He graduated with a BS in Economics in 1976.
He took over as the Bruins’ head coach in 1980. During his 19 seasons at the helm, UCLA never lost more than seven games in a season. In 1987, Schmid was 14-7-1. His teams made the NCAA College Cup six times and won NCAA championships in 1985, 1990, and 1997.
His family issued the following statement regarding his passing:
On Tuesday, Dec. 25, Sigi Schmid passed away at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles due to a personal health matter. 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. 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, and for that reason, it was important to us that we share the news of his passing. While we mourn his loss, we appreciate his privacy during this challenging time, and will not be issuing further statements. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family asks to please consider a memorial gift to support the men’s soccer program at UCLA, Sigi’s alma mater. Donations in memory of Sigi may be directed to the attention of Emily Lerner of UCLA Athletics at 310-206-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After leaving Westwood, Schmid went on to become the winningest coach in MLS history with 266 wins over 18 seasons with the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, and Seattle Sounders. His teams won the MLS title in 2002 with the LA Galaxy and in 2008 with the Columbus Crew.
Schmid was 65.