Rick Schantz will be entering his fourth season in charge of Phoenix Rising (his third as the full-time head coach). In that time period, Schantz has won two Western Conference Championships and one Regular Season title. He was also named the 2019 USL Championship Coach of the Year.
Under his watch, Phoenix Rising has had seven players named to the USL All-League team, two golden boot winners and one player, captain Solomon Asante, win back-to-back USL Championship MVP awards.
Schantz took over the club as interim head coach on June 10th, 2018 following the departure of previous head coach Patrice Carteron, who left the club to manage Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly FC. Schantz went unbeaten in his first four matches in charge of the club, was named “USL Coach of the Month” by the League, and compiled a 12-7-1 record during the rest of the 2018 regular season. Under his guidance, the club finished the year third place in the Western Conference.
Following the regular season, Schantz led the club to its first-ever playoff win on October 19, 2018, a 3-0 win over Portland Timbers 2, and eventually led the team to its first-ever Western Conference Championship title following a 2-1 win over Orange County Soccer Club. Rising FC fell short in the USL Cup Final to Louisville City FC 0-1.
On November 14, 2018, Schantz was officially named the fourth head coach in club history.
In 2019, Schantz was named the USL Championship coach of the year following a record-breaking season and a Regular Season Title. His Phoenix Rising squad broke league records for most wins (24), points (78), and goals (89) in a single season. The club also broke the North American outdoor professional soccer record for most consecutive wins (20). That winning streak is also the longest winning streak in Phoenix professional sports history.
In 2020, Schant’z club led finished tied with Reno 1868 FC for most regular-season wins in the Western Conference (11) and scored the most goals in all of USL Championship (46). He then led the club to its second Western Conference Championship after eliminating Sacramento Republic FC, Reno 1868 FC, and El Paso Locomotive in the Western Conference playoffs.
The 2020 USL Cup Final against Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Rowdies was canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tampa Bay squad.
Schantz joined the Phoenix Rising FC coaching staff as an assistant coach on January 9, 2017. Prior to his time with Phoenix Rising, Schantz was the head coach for Premier Development League soccer team FC Tucson. During his tenure, the team had a winning record of 71-22-17 (a .645 winning percentage) and won three consecutive division titles. He also helped the team reach the Western Conference Finals in three consecutive seasons. In 2013, he led FC Tucson into the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, eliminating two professional clubs in the process.
Schantz also worked in youth soccer in Tucson for 20 years coaching several teams across a variety of ages in the Tucson soccer community. He founded Calcio FC while constructing and maintaining the club’s fields. Schantz also organized the Gunners Competitive Program at Fort Lowell Soccer Club, which helped the club grow threefold to over 900 members. Recently, he was a coach with the CDO Soccer Club while serving on its Board of Directors.
As a Tucson native, Schantz played his high school soccer at Salpointe Catholic High School, and in 1992 he was selected for the United States U17 National Team Pool. He went on to play his college soccer at the University of Portland, where he helped the Pilots win a conference championship and reach the NCAA College Cup in 1995.