OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC announced on Thursday the permanent appointment of Leigh Veidman as the club’s new Head Coach. A former assistant at the club, Veidman was named interim Head Coach on June 4 and subsequently led the side to an 8-7-9 record, putting the side into postseason contention after it had failed to take victory in its opening seven games of the season prior to his appointment.
“It’s an honor,” said Veidman. “To follow the prior coaches who had excellent CVs and backgrounds and to lead this organization, the players and fans is a tremendous honor.
“None of this would have been possible without the players. This situation could have gone south or north, and the group decided to push forward and improve results. They’ve been absolutely phenomenal through this process and very supportive. The staff have as well. Alexis [Vizarelis], Paddy [Farrell], Ian [Sanders], Matt [Ramirez] and Jeff [Kretchmar] have all been excellent and they’ve been key through all of this.”
A 33-year-old native of Liverpool, England, Veidman played for the youth academies at both Liverpool FC and Everton FC. His coaching experience includes assistant roles at Fresno FC of the USL Championship, FC Boulder and the Des Moines Menace of USL League Two as well as Midland University in Nebraska. He is a seven-year veteran of USL League Two, having played with the Toronto Lynx, Des Moines Menace and FC Boulder.
Veidman holds a USSF A coaching license and is currently working toward USSF Pro and UEFA B licenses, He becomes the third-youngest coach in the USL Championship after Louisville City FC’s Danny Cruz and Hartford Athletic’s Harry Watling.
“Leigh stepped up in a huge way for our Club and our fans this season,” said Energy FC COO Jeff Kretchmar. “There are few tougher jobs in sport than taking the reins part way into a season, but Leigh did so with grit and the tenacity to succeed. He has proven himself to be a leader and the right person to guide Energy FC into the future. We are excited and proud to stand with Leigh as we focus on building the strong winning culture that Oklahoma City deserves.”
Energy FC finishes the season with the Black Gold Derby against FC Tulsa on Saturday, October 30 at 7 p.m. CT. The winner of the contest will claim the Victory Wrench with the season series currently tied at 1-1-1.