RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC head coach Ian Russell has been named one of three finalists for the 2020 USL Championship Coach of the Year. Russell has been named a finalist after three of his first four seasons at the helm in Reno, including 2019. This season, Russell guided Reno to an 11-2-3 record, good for the top overall seed in the playoffs and scored the most regular-season goals in the league.
In a season shortened by the COVIDd-19 pandemic, Russell led Reno to the highest regular season finish in club history as well as a long list of individual successes. Yesterday, the USL announced midfielders Kevin Partida and Christiano François both earned spots on the All-League Second Team. Neither player had ever earned the honor before, and both posted career years.
In his first season with Reno, forward Foster Langsdorf finished fourth in the league with 11 goals in 18 games this season, after scoring 21 in the previous 57 games of his career. Sam Gleadle successfully made a transition from midfielder to outside back, emerging as one of the top at his position in the league.
Russell led the team to the first home playoff win in club history, instituting a new defensive system onto a team with just six returners from the 2019 season.
The other finalists are John Hackworth of Louisville City FC and Troy Lesesne of New Mexico United.
In his four seasons as Reno’s head coach, Russell has won 62 games including two in the playoffs. Reno has never missed the playoffs with Russell at the helm, and has earned an average of 1.78 points per game.