Mississippi Brilla FC announced today that Luke Sanford has been appointed the Head Coach of the USL League Two Team. Mississippi Brilla will enter its 13th season in the league with its 5th head coach. Sanford replaces Mark McKeever after 4 seasons.
Sanford recently completed his 4th year at the helm of Indiana Wesleyan University. During those 4 years he has led IWU to the NAIA national quarterfinals, the Crossroads League regular season and tournament championships, and a #9 NAIA national ranking. Sanford has also guided the development of 4 NAIA All-Americans, 3 Crossroads League Players of the Year, and 16 All-Conference Players. He has also placed 2 players onto professional teams in the USL Championship.
Prior to IWU, Sanford had assistant coaching stints at NCAA Division II schools Point Loma Nazarene University and Nyack College. He also has USL experience, having served as the Southern King’s Warriors assistant coach in the USL League Two in 2012, and as an apprentice coach for the Charlotte Eagles in 2011 while in the USL Championship.
Sanford played for Houghton College (NY) where he served as a captain. Most notably, his playing career included a stop at Mississippi Brilla FC during its inaugural season in 2007.
“We are thrilled to welcome Luke Sanford back to Mississippi,” said Executive Director Rusty Bryant. “We believe that Luke is one of the top up-and-coming young coaches in our country. He has been a part of Brilla as a player in the past, and everything about him lines up perfectly with our mission. We have no doubt that Luke will continue the tradition of excellence that we are accustomed to, both on and off the field. We appreciate IWU allowing Luke the flexibility to coach with us this summer.”
“My family and I are humbled and excited for the opportunity to coach Mississippi Brilla FC,” said Sanford. “I’m grateful to Rusty Bryant and Scott Taylor for entrusting me with this responsibility at my former club and for Mark DeMichael’s (IWU AD) support. There is a history of very high quality coaches that have led this team and it’s an honor for me to have that chance. It is my passion to help players improve and gain new horizons in their game, and Brilla FC will allow me to do this at a high level. The thing that excites me the most is to see the club’s mission and vision align with my own in that they want to use the game as a means to help players grow in their character and faith. I’m excited to take on this challenge and cannot wait to see what’s in store for the 2019 season.”
Luke is married to his wife Margaret, and the couple has two sons, Cliff and Kai.
Mississippi Brilla FC will kick off its USL League Two season in May.