Laura Harvey: Dash’s Sam Laity leaves ‘amazing’ legacy with OL Reign

OL Reign coach Laura Harvey and assistant coach Sam Laity confer before a match. (Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Laura Harvey and the OL Reign offered warm congratulations to Sam Laity, who after 10 years as an assistant coach for the Seattle-based NWSL club left to become the Houston Dash head coach.

“I am so grateful for everything you have done for me, this club and everyone who as been part of OL Reign,” Harvey posted on Twitter after the Dash announced Laity’s hiring Wednesday. “I want everyone to know the legacy you are leaving behind. Houston, you got an amazing coach!”

Laity started his journey with OL Reign in 2013, and he stuck with the club through four head coaches — including current U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski in 2018 and 2019 and Harvey, twice.

The 46-year-old Englishman worked on Harvey’s staff from 2013 to 2017. She stepped down after the 2017 season but returned in 2021 after coach Farid Benstiti resigned midway through the season. Before Harvey’s return, Laity served as interim coach for six matches and led the team to a 4-2-0 (WLD) record.

In her Twitter post, Harvey said she met Laity for the first time in February 2013, ahead of their first season together.

“Within days I knew I had a friend for life,” she wrote.

Laity was the only staff member to stay with the team through its first 10 seasons.

“I think that was a huge reason why his time as head coach was super successful,” said midfielder Jess Fishlock, who also has spent all 10 seasons with OL Reign. “He brought us all into focus. We will all look back on that time and never have the words to really express his importance to us.

“Sam’s time as interim head coach was and will be a vital part to this team and organization’s success. He has a deep-rooted history with this club that allowed him to be the perfect person to re-direct the club on the path we wanted to be on.”

Harvey described her fellow England native as an “unreal human being who is always putting others before himself, with a humor like no other.”

“I am so happy for you to be able to go and show everyone how amazing you are as a head coach,” she wrote. “No one in this league deserves it more.”