LOS ANGELES -- Former Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has died at the age of 65, according to his family.
Scmid died Tuesday in Los Angeles after being hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He was hospitalized three weeks ago as he awaited a heart transplant. His official cause of death has not been disclosed.
"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 statement from his family reads.
"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."
Schmid had an MLS-record 266 regular-season and postseason victories in 18 seasons with the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Sounders. He was the head coach of the Sounders FC from 2009 to 2016.
Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer issued the following statement Wednesday about Schmid:
"Today's news comes as a shock and a devastating blow to our entire community across MLS and U.S. Soccer. 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. He will be missed greatly by a lot of people, and on behalf of the soccer community here in Seattle, I can say that we would not be where we are now without him."
Schmid led teams to two MLS titles, the first with the Galaxy in 2002 and the second with the Crew in 2008, and was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year. He stepped down as coach of the Galaxy in September with six games left in the regular season.
He coached UCLA for 19 seasons before moving on to MLS, leading the Bruins to three NCAA titles. Born in West Germany, Schmid moved to Southern California at age 4. His family asked that instead of flowers or other gifts that people consider donating to the men's soccer program at UCLA in his memory. For more information about how to do that, you can contact their athletics department at 310-206-3302.
Following news of his death, tributes also started pouring in on social media: