Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran today announced the appointment of Mark Lowry as Real Monarchs Head Coach for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season and beyond. Lowry – arriving in Utah for his fourth managerial stop and his first with an MLS NEXT Pro side – replaces Jamison Olave, the former RSL player and long-time Monarchs boss who was added to Pablo Mastroeni’s first-team staff last week.
Lowry becomes the fifth head coach in Monarchs’ history, following previous bosses Freddy Juarez, Mark Briggs, Martin Vasquez and Olave. This year the Monarchs celebrate its 10th season this 2024 season, the former Division II and current Division III side winning the USL Championship reg. season title in 2017 and the USL Championship Final in 2019.
"As a coach, I'm a big believer in entertaining," said Lowry, long regarded as one of the brightest minds in American soccer, described as uniquely demanding, uniquely fun-to-watch and a pure auteur. "The fans pay money to watch the game they love; they deserved to be entertained.
"We will attack, we will entertain, we will win, we will develop young men not just as players but as people. We will contend for hardware from Day 1. We will put a winning product on the field – like the Academy has done in the past and very much like Pablo has done with the first team. Our culture will be one of commitment and togetherness, led by a team-first mentality that aligns with the values of our community. Herriman City has this team to call its own and we expect to give them a group to be proud of, one that will inspire the entire Club with our commitment to each other."
Lowry, 38, joins Real Monarchs from Indy Eleven, where the Solihull, England native managed 72 matches with a 26W-31L-15T record. Lowry has managed 212 matches during his U.S.-based coaching career dating back to 2016 with Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL, 2016-18), El Paso Locomotive FC (USL Championship, 2018-21) and Indy Eleven (USL Championship, 2021-23) amassing a cumulative record of 86W-66L-60T. Lowry is lauded for his communication style, his tactical acumen and man-management as well as his on-field accomplishments, leading Jacksonville to the NASL Spring Championship in the 2016-17 campaign and El Paso Locomotive FC to a USL Championship Final in the 2021 season, a year where current RSL playmaker Diego Luna starred.
“We are elated to welcome Mark to our Club,” said Beltran, a former RSL player who joined the Club’s front office in early 2020 following a 12-year, 245-game playing career in Utah. “This very hectic offseason of change has allowed us the opportunity to identify top practitioners and people to potentially join us Club-wide, and Mark’s candidacy was no exception. We believe that Mark and his staff – who live at the fulcrum of both our first-team principles and our Academy initiatives – will enable our Club to establish new standards and further embody our collective ethos of winning together through development.”
Lowry will reunite in the same club umbrella with former player and now Real Salt Lake star Diego Luna. The two spent 32 matches together in 2020 and 2021 where Luna found the back of the net 9 times and assisted 5 others while taking the league title.
“I have visited Utah numerous times over the years in my battles against the Monarchs, so I know this is a community that is family-oriented and a great place to raise my family,” continued Lowry, when asked why this opportunity was appealing. “RSL shares these values, and with two young children and an amazing wife, those things matter. We have the pleasure of working in a wonderful facility with good people who strive to operate at the highest level each and every day. I could not ask for a better place both personally and professionally.”
During his debut campaign in Indy, the 2022 USL-C season, Lowry led Indy Eleven to their best year since 2019 with a record of 12-17-5. The Eleven returned to the playoffs in 2023 for the first time since the 2019 season, as a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, after finishing the regular-season campaign with a 13-11-10 record.
Lowry landed in the Indianapolis after a three-season stint with El Paso Locomotive FC, which he guided to a 42W-19L-29D record in USL Championship regular season, USL Championship Playoffs, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action from 2019-21. The now 38-year-old native of Birmingham, England, improved Locomotive FC’s record across each of their first three seasons of play, the first two of which culminated in back-to-back appearances in the Western Conference Final. Lowry’s 40 regular season victories over those three years rank as the fourth-most amongst USL Championship coaches across that span.
During El Paso’s 2021 campaign, Lowry led Locomotive FC to an impressive 18W-4L-10D (64 points) ledger that easily clinched the Championship’s Mountain Division title and marked the third-highest point total across the 31-team league. Lowry earned the July 2021 USL Championship Coach of the Month honor, which coincided with the club’s 23-game home undefeated run that stretched over a calendar year and was, at one point, the longest such streak in North American professional soccer.
Prior to El Paso, Lowry began his head coaching career as the interim boss of the then-NASL Jacksonville Armada side in August 2016, before a positive run of results helped him shed the interim tag by that October. Following the 2017 NASL season, Lowry stayed on to lead Armada FC during their 2018 season in the NPSL’s Sunshine Conference before moving to USL Championship circles as the first head coach of El Paso Locomotive FC, the architect of their inaugural 2019 campaign.
Lowry also spent four seasons in the Orlando City SC organization, spending time with both their Academy system and U-23 entry in the then-USL PDL (now USL League 2). Prior to Orlando, Lowry gained extensive experience as a player, academy coach, and scout in the English professional system. Lowry was a player scout and academy coach for English Premier League (EPL) side Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in 2009 and a player scout for Birmingham City FC in 2007 and 2008, also then in the EPL. He currently holds both his U.S. Soccer “A” license as well as the UEFA “A” coaching license.
TRANSACTION: Real Monarchs SLC hire Mark Lowry as head coach on January 22, 2024.
Name: Mark Lowry
Date of Birth: August 11, 1985
Birthplace: Solihull, England
Real Monarchs SLC concluded last season at 8W-15L-5T (29 points) in its second season at the MLS NEXT Pro level under the leadership of Head Coach Jamison Olave. The Monarchs look to build on their late 2023 success in 2024, empowered by the league’s youngest roster (by average age) in the entire league. Tickets for Real Monarchs can be purchased via gameday walk-up at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman.