USL League Two boasts the slogan #Path2Pro as the league has become a proven pathway to professional soccer. Through 14 seasons in the country’s top pre-professional league, Mississippi Brilla FC has a strong track record of sending players to professional teams. But it is not always just the players that get opportunities to move forward in their careers.
Mississippi Brilla FC Head Coach Luke Sanford has been named Assistant Coach and Academy Head Coach at New Mexico United. The team competes in the USL Championship, the 2nd Division of professional soccer in the United States.
“We could not be more excited for Coach Luke Sanford and his family,” said Rusty Bryant, Brilla’s Executive Director. “Luke was the perfect leader for our team the last few years, and he truly is the epitome of what we look for in a coach, both on and off the field. We are excited to see him thrive at the next level.”
Sanford took over head coaching duties in 2019 following an historic 4 year run by Coach Mark McKeever. He compiled a 14-5-8 record over 2 seasons (the 2020 season was not played due to COVID), including a division title winning 8-2-3 season in 2021. The team advanced to the second round of the USL2 playoffs, falling in a penalty kick shootout to end their playoff run.
“My time as head coach for Mississippi Brilla has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had,” said Sanford. “I am so proud of the work we did and the success we’ve had getting Brilla back where we belong. But if I’m honest, what I will miss the most is the time spent with the people that have become great friends and mentors, the time my family has spent around amazing people in Mississippi, and the time my sons have shared with the amazing guys I have been fortunate enough to coach. I’ll always love Brilla and couldn’t be more grateful for them taking a chance on me and giving me this experience.”
Mississippi Brilla FC will announce its 2022 head coach in the coming days. The team is scheduled to kick off their 15th USL2 season in May.