Utah Royals FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has named Craig Harrington as head coach, the team announced today. Harrington becomes the second head coach in Utah history following Laura Harvey, who stepped down in January to lead the U-20 United States women’s national team.
“We are excited to welcome Craig to the RSL family. Our biggest priorities in this search were to find someone who understands the competitive level of this League, and who will continue to build upon the Royals established principles and style of play.” Utah General Manager Stephanie Lee said. “ We selected Craig because he not only demonstrated his knowledge of both those elements, but because he believes in building a holistic vision and plan of what we want the Royals to look-like and build-upon, creating a true organizational identity that aligns with Dell Loy’s vision of globally & locally progressing women’s football.”
Harrington spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars helping lead the team to the playoffs in both campaigns and to the club’s first-ever NWSL Championship appearance in 2019. Prior to joining the Red Stars, Harrington served as the technical director for the Turks and Caicos men’s national team and began his coaching career with the LA Galaxy Academy in 2010. He won two consecutive US Soccer Development SoCal division titles as head coach of the U-16 team and was a member of the technical staff for the Galaxy’s Major League Soccer team that won consecutive MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012.
“I am very grateful to Dell Loy Hansen and Stephanie Lee for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started on repaying their faith in my vision for the future of the club,” Harrington said. “I enjoyed my time in Chicago and the run to the championship game but making the move to Utah Royals FC was an easy decision for one key reason: potential. The ambition of the club, combined with the hunger and talent of the players, is a powerful mix. I am passionate about success and I am ready to bring that mentality to the Royals, every day.”
Utah Royals FC assistant coach Amy LePeilbet and goalkeeper coach Jason Batty will remain on staff while assistant coach Scott Parkinson, who was briefly named as interim head coach, has parted ways with the club.