First-year Fresno Fuego coach Sean Lanigan has resigned just two games into the Premier Development League season, the club announced Tuesday.
Lanigan, who served as head coach and assistant general manager, is stepping down for personal reasons, according to a club news release.
“The Fuego would like to thank Coach Lanigan for his contributions to our club, and we wish he and his family the best in his future endeavors,” Fuego general manager Jeremy Schultz said.
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Fresno hired the 49-year-old Virginia native as the third coach in the club’s 14 seasons, replacing nine-year coach Scott Alcorn. Lanigan’s 30-plus years of experience included playing goalkeeper at George Mason University and coaching in DC United’s youth academy and reserve squads.
Lanigan was also highly involved in Fairfax, Virginia-area boys and girls programs. He was charged with but acquitted of molesting a 12-year-old female student in 2010. A jury needed just 47 minutes to return a not guilty verdict. He spent years trying to rebuild his life but at the time of his hiring by the Fuego in December saw the cross-country move as the next step in that process.
“We’re excited for the change of scenery. we’re embedded to Virginia, but both families are very supportive and plan on doing lots of trips to California,” Lanigan said at the time. “It certainly was the right place at the right time for myself and my family. My kids are very supportive of me following my soccer dreams and soccer career.”
The Fuego (1-1), coming off a 5-1 win over San Francisco City FC on Saturday at Chukchansi Park, hosts the Las Vegas Mobsters at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Chukchansi Park.