Jill Ellis (right) was named head coach of the U.S. women's national team on May 16, 2014. (Photo: Michael Janosz /isiphotos.com)
CHICAGO – Jill Ellis was named the eighth head coach in United States women’s national team history, U.S. Soccer announced Friday.
The 47-year-old has experience coaching at every level of the U.S. women’s program and was an assistant on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning squads. She has served as interim head coach on two different occasions, including the two most recent matches, and officially starts the job with an unbeaten all-time record of 6-3-0.
“Jill has been on the bench for more senior and Youth Women’s National Team matches than perhaps any coach in United States history,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “She has worked at this for many years and has tremendous knowledge of our player pool and the qualities of multiple generations of players.
“We are confident she is the best person to find the right combinations on the field to make us successful in World Cup qualifying and beyond. She has experienced first-hand the growth of women’s soccer worldwide and is uniquely positioned to lead our team to an even higher level.”
Ellis will step back from her post as U.S. Soccer’s Women’s Development Director, which she has held since January of 2011 and in which she oversaw the under-14, under-15, and under-17 national teams. She will still work closely with U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs to help guide the USA’s youth programs.
“First, I would like to sincerely thank U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and U.S. Soccer Secretary General/CEO Dan Flynn for this amazing opportunity,” said Ellis. “It’s a huge honor. I also want to acknowledge all the past players and coaches that have built a rich tradition and legacy for this team. I’m humbled and proud to lead the current generation of players toward the ultimate goal, a FIFA World Cup championship. Finally, I want to thank my father who ignited my passion for this game and who inspired me to be a coach.”
Ellis’ first matches as the official head coach will come on June 14 and 19 against France in Tampa, Florida, and East Hartford, Connecticut, respectively. Her first major tournament will come on home soil as U.S. Soccer has been selected to host the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Ellis officially replaces Tom Sermanni, who was relieved of his duties on April 6.