Phoenix Rising FC Head Coach Rick Schantz has signed a contract extension with the club that will keep him on its sidelines through the 2024 season. | Photo courtesy Ashley Orellana / Phoenix Rising FC
PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC announced on Thursday it had signed Head Coach Rick Schantz to a contract extension through the 2024 USL Championship season. Schantz has recorded 70 victories across the regular season and playoffs in the Championship over his time leading the club.
“I’m very happy to sign a new contract with Phoenix Rising,” said Schantz. “I would like to thank our ownership group along with Bobby Dulle and the front office, for continuing to believe in me. Let’s finish this season with some silverware.”
Schantz has compiled a record of 70-20-18 in USL Championship competition, leading the franchise to two Western Conference Championships and the 2019 regular season title. He was voted the Championship’s 2019 Coach of the Year after orchestrating the longest winning streak (20 games) in North American outdoor professional soccer history. That winning streak is also the longest in Phoenix professional sports history.
Schantz currently has Rising FC (20-5-5) tied for first place in the overall league standings on 65 points alongside the Atlantic Division’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. The defending Western Conference Title holders have not lost a match at home this season (11-0-3) and claimed the Pacific Division title with five matches remaining in the regular season on Oct. 2. Rising FC has been the highest-scoring pro soccer franchise in North America since 2019, scoring 195 goals in the last three seasons.
Under Schantz’s leadership, Phoenix has had seven players named to the USL Championship All-League team, seen two players earn the Championship’s Golden Boot and had one player, captain Solomon Asante, win consecutive USL Championship Most Valuable Player awards in 2019 and 2020.
“Rick has been an integral part of Phoenix Rising since its inception,” said Rising FC GM Bobby Dulle. “We are thrilled to extend his contract. He has tremendous passion for this club, and he’s proven to be a consistent winner in this league. Rick provides continuity and stability as the leader of our team. We are excited to see him continue to guide Phoenix Rising to unprecedented heights.”
Schantz originally joined Phoenix Rising FC as an assistant coach on Jan. 9, 2017. He was named interim Head Coach following the departure of Patrice Carteron on June 10, 2018. He went 12-6-2 as interim Head Coach, leading the club to its first USL Championship Final appearance before being officially named Head Coach on Nov. 14, 2018. The following year he broke USL Championship records for most wins (24), points (78) and goals (89) in a single season.
An Arizona native, Schantz played his high school soccer at Salpointe Catholic High School, and in 1992 he was selected for the United States U17 National Team Pool. He went on to play his college soccer at the University of Portland, where he helped the Pilots win a conference championship and reach the NCAA College Cup in 1995.