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2018 USL Championship Coach of the Year Named Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Head Coach

By Cody Costra, 09/23/19, 4:00PM MDT

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Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Springs, CO (September 23, 2019) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced today that the club has appointed Alan Koch as the second permanent head coach in club history. Koch joins the Switchbacks FC with extensive experience in the USL Championship after earning the league's Coach of the Year award with FC Cincinnati in 2018.

"We selected Alan because not only is he an amazing coach with USL Championship Coach of the Year credentials, but he's excited to paint Colorado Springs black and blue as we crescendo into the most important outdoor sports project in the history of Colorado Springs," said Switchbacks President, Nick Ragain.

Koch earned the 2018 USL Championship Coach of the Year award in his second year at FC Cincinnati's helm by leading the club to a 23-3-8 overall record as they set USL single-season records for points (77), wins (23), and games unbeaten in the regular season (23) en route to winning the USL Regular Season Championship.

"I am excited to join the Switchbacks and be a part of a very special project. There is a lot of assessing and evaluating that needs to happen in the short-term as we begin to put in place the plan for the 2020 season," said Koch. "I am also thrilled to be part of the next phase of the club as we prepare to move into the new downtown stadium in 2021. We will work incredibly hard to achieve the goal of getting the club back into the playoffs."

Koch has experience coaching at nearly every level of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. Koch started turning heads when he coached Simon Fraser University in the NAIA and NCAA to five consecutive conference championships and Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Coach of the Year awards from 2009 to 2013.

In his first professional coaching experience, Koch led the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 from second-bottom in the Western Conference in 2015 to the USL Championship Playoffs and Western Conference Final in 2016. He was also in charge of scouting and developing young talent, including Alphonso Davies who progressed to an MLS contract with Whitecaps FC before transferring to legendary German club Bayern Munich.

In his first year with FC Cincinnati, Koch led the team to the Semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, defeating Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew SC and Chicago Fire. The run, which came to an end at the hands of the New York Red Bulls in a game that went to extra time at Nippert Stadium, marked the first time since 2011 that a USL Championship club had reached the final four of the historic tournament.

In 2018, Koch completed his United States Soccer Federation "A" Coaching License while also setting records with Cincinnati. Koch stayed with FC Cincinnati through the club's transition into their MLS expansion season in 2019 where he was awarded MLS Coach of the Week honors in weeks 3 and 4.

Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris will continue to lead the squad through the October 5th game against LA Galaxy II at Weidner Field before Alan Koch takes over for the final two away games of the 2019 season, at which point Harris will resume duties as Assistant Coach.

"I am very thankful to Wolde for serving as our Interim Head Coach," said Switchbacks President, Nick Ragain. "He is a true professional and gave this team every ounce of energy he had."

Details on a press conference in the coming weeks will be made available in the near future.

The Switchbacks return to Weidner Field on September 28th to face the Las Vegas Lights FC on Bobblehead Giveaway Night. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free Switchbacks bobblehead courtesy of FOX21 News. Full 16oz beers will be available for $1 for the first 30 minutes after gates open at 5:00 PM. Tickets start at just $12 and are available HERE. For the price of a Switchbacks ticket and 2-5 beers, it is cheaper than buying 2-5 beers at a bar or restaurant.