COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 13, 2023) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced Friday that they had reached an agreement to transfer Head Coach and General Manager Brendan Burke to Houston Dynamo FC of Major League Soccer. The club will receive a transfer fee as part of the agreement, but per league policy, the details of the transfer will not be disclosed.
“This was a difficult decision for sure,” said Burke. “I felt like we could have been here for 15 more years and had a wild amount of success. That said, I am also confident leaving the club in the hands of the people I trusted most, my staff. I believe all three of those guys will be head coaches in this league one day.”
Burke, 40, spent two seasons as Head Coach of the Switchbacks, and added the role of General Manager for the 2022 campaign. Burke has helped the club make huge strides in the past two seasons, earning a 30-23-13 overall record and two trips to the USL Championship Playoffs. He also helped reignite the career of Hadji Barry, who was the league’s MVP in 2021, and was instrumental in arranging the transfer of Barry to an Egyptian Premier League team this fall, a deal that stands as the largest transfer fee paid for a USL Championship player. Burke’s transfer comes shortly after he and his staff signed contract extensions with the Switchbacks.
“Brendan and staff have demonstrated their ability to build a winning team and culture here in Colorado Springs,” said Switchbacks FC President Nick Ragain. “At first, the idea of allowing a conversation between Brendan and Houston having just extended Brendan’s contract for two years was difficult to agree to. After consideration however, this process is no different than what we’ve been preaching for years: come to Colorado Springs, perform well for the fans, and we will support the right opportunities when presented.”
When Coach Burke joined the Switchbacks at the conclusion of 2020, the team was coming off a 16-game, pandemic shortened season that included just two wins. 2021 was a complete resurgence, as the team won 13 games and a spot in the playoffs. Burke’s squad had an even stronger campaign in 2022, earning 17 wins in the regular season, and advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in club history. He earned USL Championship Coach of the Month honors in April of 2022, and was nominated as a finalist for the league’s Coach of the Year award in 2021.
“I have every confidence in these guys to carry it on and continue to grow the club in exactly the same way that I would have done it,” Burke said about the current technical staff. “That was part of my peace of mind in being able to take another big risk in my own career. I am extremely grateful to the Houston Dynamo, I am confident in their group and excited about what can be done there too.”
Burke had a message for Colorado Springs as well.
“This environment is special, we have great memories here. I know it was a quick stint, but I feel like we created a lot of great memories and a high flying attacking team that the fans really got behind. I would bump into fans around the city that shared their great experiences with me and none of that’s gonna change. The playing style won’t change, and I am confident these guys will continue to raise the bar here. I can’t say enough about this organization and it’s fans, and I will always appreciate my time here.”
Staying on staff is Technical Director Stephen Hogan, Assistant Coach James Chambers, and Director of Performance/Assistant Coach Alan McCann. All three are contracted with the club through 2024.
“Brendan has done an amazing job since coming on in December of 2020 and the Switchbacks have invested more into the team trusting his proven leadership,” Ragain added. “In 2023, we have the most experienced and talented team that we have fielded to date. Our goal is to be the best team in the league and that is not changing. Our team and staff are built on the next man up philosophy and that is what we’ll do. I am excited for Brendan, the 2023 Switchbacks, and continuing to build the best team experience for Colorado Springs and our fans.”
More information about the current technical staff and the plans for the 2023 season will be shared in the coming days.