The Houston Dash hired Sam Laity as the fourth head coach in team history, the team announced today. Laity will be formally introduced to media later today in a press conference at 11 a.m. CDT at PNC Stadium.
"We are thrilled to welcome Sam and his family to Houston. From the first conversations I had with Sam, I knew he would be a great fit for the team, club and city,” Dash general manager Alex Singer said. “As we went through the interview process, Sam stood out as the ideal candidate to lead the team. He is a players’ coach with the respect and trust of players, staff, and stakeholders across our league and sport. He has seen the ups and downs through the evolution of the NWSL and knows what it takes to be successful. His deep knowledge of this league is an invaluable asset but most importantly, his values align with the culture we want to build and the competitive product we want to see on the field.”
Laity brings extensive coaching experience through a decade-long career in the NWSL with OL Reign. The 46-year-old coached in more than 200 NWSL regular season and playoff games during his tenure as an assistant coach at OL Reign and spent most of his career as the primary assistant under OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey. Laity also served as an interim head coach during the 2021 season for six games and finished with a 4-2-0 (WLD) record.
Laity helped lead the Reign to a NWSL best 11-7-4 record last season, awarding the Seattle-based club the NWSL Shield and the No. 1 overall seed in the 2022 NWSL playoffs. That was the sixth trip to the postseason for OL Reign and third NWSL Shield.
"I am excited to join the Houston Dash, the things that I've experienced in the very short period of time since I've been in discussions with the club, have really filled me with hope that this club is doing what’s necessary to build a competitive team. More than being a competitive team, we want to truly serve as a destination for the top talent in our sport,” Laity said. “The values between management and the coaching staff have to be aligned for the two of us to be successful. There was a mutual understanding there and that instantly drew me in.”
Laity also served as an assistant coach under current United States Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski from 2017 to 2019 at Seattle Reign FC.
Laity has become a key figure in the Seattle soccer community in the more than 10 years he has lived in the Emerald City. From 2006 to 2011, Laity was an associate staff coach at United Soccer Coaches, where he led coach education and licensing.
“We are excited to welcome Sam Laity to the Houston Dash,” majority owner and chairman Ted Segal said. “Sam is an accomplished coach with several postseason appearances and a proven ability to win in this league. We were impressed by Sam’s approach to player development as well as his ambition in fostering a fast and physical style of play that we expect will resonate with fans and help the Dash build on the success of the 2022 season.”
The search for Laity was led by Singer, who is the first standalone general manager in team history, with the support of club leadership.
Laity currently holds a UEFA "B" License and a NSCAA Master Coach Diploma. He is enrolled in the US Soccer Federation’s “A“ senior licensing course. Laity graduated from the University of St. Mark and St. John in 2001 with a degree in Sports and Exercise.