Reno 1868 hires first head coach

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Reno 1868 FC has named Ian Russell as head coach for its inaugural 2017 season, the club announced today.

“This is a huge step for our team,” said Andy Smith, general manager of Reno 1868 FC. “With Ian’s significant background, both playing and coaching in MLS, we know our team will be in good hands.”

Russell played for the University of Washington and later started his professional career with the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division in 1998 and 1999. Russell was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2000 and continued to play seven seasons in MLS. Six of those seasons came with the Earthquakes, where Russell helped the team win two MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003.

“I’m extremely excited for this unique opportunity,” said Russell. “I’m very thankful for my time with the Earthquakes and to continue on within the club’s organizational pyramid is a dream come true. I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Reno and leading a team they can be proud to support.”

In 2008, Russell returned to the Earthquakes as an assistant coach, a position he held for eight seasons. He helped lead the club to the postseason twice, while earning the Supporters’ Shield for best regular season record (19-6-9) in 2012. Russell was also instrumental in the Quakes’ international and collegiate scouting efforts, and briefly helped oversee the club’s youth development as the academy’s technical director. He served as the Earthquakes interim head coach for the final two games of the 2014 season and holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” coaching license.

“Ian has long been an invaluable and important member of the Earthquakes organization,” said Earthquakes interim general manager Chris Leitch. “From his time as a player to the last nine years as an assistant coach, Ian has all the tools and knowledge to develop young talent while overseeing an exciting and competitive brand of soccer for the Reno community.”

Greater Nevada Field will host up to 18 matches in 2017, with 16 coming as regular-season matches for Reno 1868 FC during its inaugural USL campaign. Reno 1868 FC announced its first preseason match last week, scheduled for February 18, 2017 against the Earthquakes. The USL previously announced the regular season will expand to 32 matches beginning in 2017.

Since the franchise was announced in September 2015, Reno 1868 FC has unveiled its club name, colors, crest and home jersey kit. The away jersey kit is to be announced at a later date.

Those interested in purchasing season memberships may order them here or by calling their Reno 1868 FC account executive at 775-334-7001.