SANDY, Utah (November 20, 2017) – The United Soccer League today announced that Real Monarchs Head Coach Mark Briggs was voted the 2017 USL Coach of the Year after leading the Monarchs to a Regular Season Championship Shield and the best season in the club’s three-year history. The award comes in the first round of 2017 USL Awards to kick off USL Awards Week stretching from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.
The 2017 USL Awards were voted on by team and management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL market. Briggs beat out Coach of the Year finalists James O’Connor of Louisville City FC and Reno 1868 FC’s Ian Russell to claim the honor.
“I’m honored to win the Coach of the Year award. The award symbolizes the collective efforts of the entire organization this season,” Briggs said. “We accomplished a lot this season and it hasn’t quite sunk in, just how much we accomplished this year.”
The Wolverhampton, England native guided the Monarchs to a first-ever USL postseason berth and an impressive 20-5-7 (67 points) record over the course of the regular season. Under Briggs’ watch the team came within two points of the all-time points record set by New York Red Bulls II in 2016 (69) and two wins shy of the all-time wins record (22). The season included a USL-record nine-game winning streak, as the Monarchs opened the season with a 13-1-0 record to jump to the top of the standings and held that position all season.
Arriving at the club last November, Briggs began his tenure in Utah as the assistant coach to then Monarchs Head Coach Mike Petke but quickly earned a promotion to the head coaching position after Petke’s promotion to Real Salt Lake in late March.
USL Awards Week continues on Tuesday and Wednesday and Real Monarchs forward Chandler Hoffman is a finalist for 2017 USL MVP after posting 16 goals and seven assists in the regular season.