Chris Leitch returned as the club's technical director on November 24, 2017.
Prior to his return as technical director, Leitch was named the head coach of the Earthquakes on June 25, 2017. He was the ninth head coach in Quakes history, leading the team to the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Prior to coaching the club, Leitch was promoted to the club's technical director on August 10, 2015 after holding the same title for the Quakes Youth Development Academy since 2012. Leitch worked closely with general manager Jesse Fioranelli on all aspects of scouting, player acquisition and salary cap and roster management.
Since taking over the club’s academy in 2012, Leitch helped transform the Quakes’ youth system into one of the premier academies in the nation. In 2015, the Earthquakes U-18 Academy squad took third place in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs. Additionally, the Quakes Premier Development League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, finished their season with a 10-1-3 record (33 pts.), best among 18 teams in the Western Conference.
Leitch also spearheaded the club’s effort to bring in experienced coaches in Paul Holocher and Andre Luiz Moreira to continue the academy’s ascent following the 2015 season. He continues to oversee the youth academy as part of his current role. Additionally, Leitch received his Elite Formation Coaching License as part of Major League Soccer’s partnership with the French Football Federation.
Before joining the Quakes front office, Leitch played professionally in Major League Soccer from 2002 to 2011. He made a total of 196 appearances during his 10-year career, tallying 14 assists. Leitch helped lead the New York Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup Final appearance in 2008 and later signed with the Earthquakes in 2009, playing in 58 matches with the club over the next three seasons. He was the Earthquakes Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and helped the Quakes reach the conference final in 2010.
Leitch experienced success at the college level as well, captaining the University of North Carolina to a National Championship in 2001, setting school records for career games played (88) and starts (87) in the process.