Alan Koch has been appointed as the new Head Coach of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, bringing the 2018 USL Championship Coach of the Year back to the league. | Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2018 USL Championship Coach of the Year Alan Koch has been appointed as the new sideline boss at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, becoming the second Head Coach in the club’s history.
Koch joins the Switchbacks with a sterling resume in the Championship, having led sides to the USL Championship Playoffs in three consecutive years between 2016-18 and having been appointed FC Cincinnati’s first Head Coach as it joined Major League Soccer in 2019.
"We selected Alan because not only is he an amazing coach with USL Championship Coach of the Year credentials, but he's excited to paint Colorado Springs black and blue as we crescendo into the most important outdoor sports project in the history of Colorado Springs,” said Switchbacks President Nick Ragain.
A native of South Africa, Koch earned the 2018 USL Championship Coach of the Year award in his second year at FC Cincinnati's helm. Koch led the club to a 23-3-8 regular-season record as the club set single-season records for points (77), wins (23) and recorded a 23-game undefeated streak that currently stands as the longest in the Championship’s history as FCC claimed the Championship’s regular season title.
"I am excited to join the Switchbacks and be a part of a very special project. There is a lot of assessing and evaluating that needs to happen in the short-term as we begin to put in place the plan for the 2020 season," said Koch. "I am also thrilled to be part of the next phase of the club as we prepare to move into the new downtown stadium in 2021. We will work incredibly hard to achieve the goal of getting the club back into the playoffs."
New Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Head Coach Alan Koch embraces Kenney Walker following FC Cincinnati's playoff victory against Nashville SC in the 2018 USL Championship Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
Koch has experience coaching at nearly every level of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. The 44-year-old started turning heads when he coached Simon Fraser University in the NAIA and NCAA to five consecutive conference championships and Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Coach of the Year awards between 2009 to 2013.
Appointed as the first Head Coach of former Championship club Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 prior to the 2015 season, Koch built a squad that in its second season in the league reached the USL Championship Playoffs and Western Conference Final. In his role for Whitecaps FC, Koch was also in charge of scouting and developing young talent, including current Canadian international Alphonso Davies, who went from becoming the youngest goalscorer in the Championship’s history to signing with Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer before being transferred to legendary German club Bayern Munich.
In addition to his success in league play, Koch also led Cincinnati to a remarkable run in then 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup that saw the side reach the tournament’s Semifinals. During its run, FCC defeated Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC and Chicago Fire before eventually being eliminated in a contest against the New York Red Bulls that went to extra time. The run marked the first time since 2011 that a USL Championship club had reached the final four of the historic tournament.
Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris will continue to lead the squad through the Switchbacks’ contest on October 5th against the LA Galaxy II at Weidner Field before Koch takes over for the final two away games of the 2019 season, at which point Harris will resume duties as Assistant Coach.
"I am very thankful to Wolde for serving as our Interim Head Coach," said Ragain. "He is a true professional and gave this team every ounce of energy he had."