Women's Football

Richie Burke steps down as Washington Spirit head coach

Lizzy Becherano
Burke has left the Spirit
Burke has left the Spirit / Joe Robbins/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Washington Spirit head coach Richie Burke will step down after ongoing health concerns, the club announced on Tuesday. 

The club informed media that Burke approached administration with his physical condition on Monday, with both parties mutually agreeing to part ways. Once safe, he will return and be re-assigned to the team’s front office. 

“Yesterday Richie advised me of some health concerns and we mutually agreed that it was in the best interests of him and of the club for him to step down as our coach. Once Richie’s health improves, he will join the sporting operations front office staff,” Spirit president of sporting operations Larry Best said.

The press release did not specify a replacement but suggested assistant coaches Kris Ward and Paul Crichton will lead the team as the search for a permanent boss begins. 

“We have initiated the search for our next coach and in the interim, I will support Kris Ward, Paul Crichton, and our staff to prepare for our match on Friday,” Best said.

Burke first joined the NWSL side in January 2019, replacing interim coach Tom Torres who had taken over for Jim Gabarra.Prior to the Washington Spirit, Burke headed D.C. United’s Under-23 team. 

During his reign, Burke transformed players like Rose Lavelle into international stars. . 

The English manager narrowly missed out on the playoffs in his first year as the team finished in fifth place. The Washington Spirit is currently in seventh place, with 18 points in 13 games and a record of 5-5-3.