Sacramento Republic FC to bring back manager Mark Briggs on multi-year contract extension

Xavier Mascareñas/xmascarenas@sacbee.com

Sacramento Republic FC on Monday answered one of their most pressing questions of the offseason: What will happen to manager Mark Briggs?

Briggs, who finished out the last year of his contract with the club in 2022, has agreed to terms on a multi-year deal to return for 2023, the team announced.

“Coach Briggs has been a phenomenal leader for our club, both on the field and in the locker room,” Republic FC CEO Kevin Nagle wrote in a statement. “So much of the success we’ve seen this year is a direct result of Mark’s hard work and commitment to the organization and our community, and we’re looking forward to having him back for another season.”

There’s been some thought Briggs would be a candidate for an MLS job given the success he enjoyed with Sacramento last season. He helped guide the team to the U.S. Open Cup Final and a berth in the USL playoffs.

Next season will be Briggs’ fourth in Sacramento since he was hired in 2020. Last season was the first of his tenure that wasn’t shortened by the pandemic. In all competitions, the Wolverhampton, England native is 84-53-45 as a manager.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be staying in Sacramento. I love this city, this club, these fans. All aspects are unmatched,” Briggs said in a statement. “Though I’m happy with the progress that has been made from a coaching perspective, I feel as though we have a lot of unfinished business. My work here is definitely not done — it’s just truly starting.”

Briggs joined Republic FC as its academy director in 2019 before getting promoted to head coach for 2020. He previously served as the head coach for Real Monarchs SLC and was named the 2017 USL Coach of the Year while his team won the league’s regular-season title.

Briggs is highly regarded by his players and was considered instrumental in the team’s surprising run last season, which included beating three MLS clubs to reach the U.S. Open Cup finale against Orlando City SC. Republic FC became the first lower-division team to reach the final since 2008 before losing to Orlando City, 3-0.

“The big thing is I know all the guys love playing for him,” veteran defender Connor Donovan said of Briggs last season. “Before the game, he talks and we’re ready to run through a brick wall. That’s the biggest thing ... just instilling confidence in the boys and giving them motivation to go out. So he’s really brought us together as a team, especially the brand new faces. So it’s been awesome, and he’s a great coach to have.”