Sounders Insider

Schmid on what made him a Hall of Fame coach

"As you get older, you become a little more calm and you don’t react to things as quickly to things, for sure,' he said. "As a younger coach I reacted to things a lot quicker. For me the mainstay is about being able to fit the right pieces of the puzzle together on the field, make the pieces work, because it changes always from year to year. Like I’ve said to you guys a lot of times, one 4-4-2 is different from another 4-4-2 because of the individual abilities. I think I’ve been honest with my players over the years. Some of them probably claim that I’ve been hard to talk to, and they’ve found out maybe that that’s a little less so once we actually meet. I think being honest and showing them my passion. And I have a great desire to win. I always say losing is what motivates me, and winning is what sustains me. And so all those things together I think have allowed me to have some success. And you work hard, study, read a lot, you observe a lot, you learn a lot, you watch a lot. You can’t ever be afraid to take on new things no matter how many years you’ve coached or how old you are."

Here's more from Schmid:

"It’s pretty overwhelming because it’s a culmination of what you’ve done over a long period of time. Players obviously accomplish things over a long period of time, too, but it’s a shorter period of time. It’s nothing that I ever went into the sport to try and achieve. It’s just something that’s happened, and it’s a reflection that I’ve been able to coach a lot of good players."

On putting the honor in perspective: I’ve thought about it from the standpoint that there’s a lot of people to thank because there are a lot of people that were really very influential on the road to get to be a coach. When I was 21, 22, 23, I never thought coaching would be the end-all for me. Even when I was 28 I didn’t think my full-time profession would be to be a coach. So there are a lot of people along that way. I think the most important thing that sticks out for me is just over the year the amount of players that I’ve coached and the friendships that I’ve had. … The wins and the accomplishments and the award, all those things are nice, but those can all go away. The meat and potatoes are the relationships and the memories you have.

On when his mindset toward coaching change: I always thought I could be good at coaching. I never doubted my ability to coach. And so when I had my youth teams, the first youth team I had we won the state championship right away … so I always felt confident in that. But all my years of coaching youth soccer, it’s not like the guys do today where some guys get paid lots of money to coach youth soccer. I never got paid a dime for coaching youth soccer. So you still didn’t see that as the end all; you still had to have a 9-to-5 job, and I was an accountant and all that. When I went to UCLA on a full-time basis I was 30 at the time. So when I went to UCLA at that time, I gave myself basically three years. And I said if I didn’t win something I didn’t want to be a .500 coach. If I didn’t win something within three years, then I would go back to being an accountant. And we made it to the semifinal in ’84 and we made it to the championship in ’85, so I sort of stuck with it at that point.

On receiving the honor:“It’s certainly right up there with the top moments I’ve experienced in this sport. It’s a reflection ofyour peers acknowledging what you’ve done, and it’s a reflection of the body of your work, so thisis something I am very proud of.”

On some of his most memorable career moments:“I wish I could narrow it down to one or two moments, but there are so many — my time coachingat UCLA and my first NCAA title, the World Cup in 1994 and being an assistant coach, coachingthe [United States] U-20 Team, winning an MLS championship with the Galaxy and Columbus, tobeing here on opening day with the Seattle Sounders as an expansion team and drawing thecrowd we did and having that memorable game against New York. There’s so many things — Ican’t really rank them and say one sits above the other — they all sort of go hand-in-hand forme.”On being induted alongside Kasey Keller and Glenn Myernick:“I am honored to be inducted alongside Kasey Keller, who is a Seattle soccer icon. It sort ofmakes it a Sounders’ class. I knew Mooch [Glenn Myernick] for a long time, and as a colleague, acoach and a player, he dedicated his life to the sport, and he’s such a good person. Beinginducted with those two guys is a tremendous honor, and I am very humbled.”

On the relationships he’s built with players throughout his storied career:“The biggest thing for me has been the players I have had the privilege coaching and the playersthat have become friends; the relationships and friendships that have existed beyond coachingplayers — now that for me is the biggest reward. That is bigger than the trophies or any of theawards, just knowing that you have been meaningful in someone’s life.