The 2010s brought incredible coaching stability to Kansas City professional sports teams and area college programs. Sporting Kansas City was certainly no exception, as Manager Peter Vermes became the longest-tenured head coach in MLS history while leading the club to eight consecutive playoff appearances and four major championships—the 2013 MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups in 2012, 2015 and 2017.
In the Kansas City Star’s decade-in-review, SportsBeat KC podcast host Blair Kerkhoff joined KC Star columnists Sam Mellinger and Vahe Gregorian to discuss Vermes’ legacy alongside the respective achievements of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, former Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and former Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel.
“I would say that because he’s been the head coach of his team longer than Andy Reid has been the head coach of the Chiefs, (Vermes) is the most consistent winner among the professional sports teams in Kansas City and has made quite an impact on professional soccer in this town,” Kerkhoff said.
Mellinger echoed those sentiments, marveling at the miraculous transformation Vermes spearheaded as the club rebranded from the Wizards to Sporting, moved into world-class Children’s Mercy Park and became a model franchise for MLS.
“He’s done a lot of great work at the youth level,” Mellinger said of Vermes, who has placed significant importance on cultivating a strong Academy and expansive network of affiliated youth clubs. “He’s been an absolutely transformative, consistent presence—an incredibly detail-oriented, all-encompassing leader.”
Added Gregorian, “When you look at facilities like Pinnacle, that is an international draw. This could be something that gives Kansas City the chance to be on the map in an entirely new way with the (2026) World Cup. It starts with the vision that comes from Vermes and the Sporting Club ownership group.”
Listen to the podcast below, with Vermes kicking off the very first segment at the 2:06 mark.