SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations and Sporting Director Craig Waibel has been named to the 2021 class for the Husky Hall of Fame, the University of Washington announced today. A four-year letterman and two-year captain at UW from 1994-1998, Waibel becomes the first Washington men’s soccer player inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame. The Spokane native returned to Montlake as an assistant coach in 2012-2013 following a 12-year playing career with four MLS Cup titles. Prior to joining Sounders FC’s front office in April, he had a four-year stint as Real Salt Lake’s General Manager with three postseason appearances. Waibel and his fellow 2021 inductees are set to officially join the Husky Hall of Fame around the 2021 Homecoming game vs. UCLA on October 16, with official ceremonies scheduled for the following day, October 17. More information can be found via the University of Washington's full announcement.
“I consider it an incredible honor to be named to the Husky Hall of Fame alongside these other talented athletes,” said Waibel. “To be the first men’s soccer player inducted is both humbling and surprising, considering the prolific history of this program under coaches like Dean Wurzberger and Jamie Clark. Now that I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, I can only continue to give back and carry on the storied legacy of this soccer community.”
Waibel was named first team all-conference and third team all-region as a senior in 1998 for Head Coach Dean Wurzberger, leading the Huskies to a conference title a year after helping achieve a No. 1 ranking during the 1997 season. After his playing career ended in 2010, he spent one year on the Michigan Wolverines coaching staff before returning to UW as an Assistant Coach under Head Coach Jamie Clark, helping the Huskies to a combined 31-7-7 record and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including an elite eight run in 2013.
He began his pro career with the Seattle Sounders of the A-League for two seasons before an accomplished 11-year run in MLS with the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo. The defender tallied 175 MLS appearances, eight goals and 16 assists (including postseason play), in addition to winning four MLS Cups (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007), one Supporters’ Shield (2012) and one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2001).
Following his time coaching at Washington, Waibel joined Real Salt Lake in 2014 as an Assistant Coach before being promoted to Technical Director in 2015, then taking over as General Manager later that year following Garth Lagerwey’s departure to Sounders FC. Waibel served as RSL’s GM through the 2019 MLS campaign, reaching the postseason in three of his four seasons. He was hired by Sounders FC prior to the 2021 season as Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & Sporting Director.