Jill Ellis stepping down as USWNT head coach

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that Jill Ellis, who just won her second Women’s World Cup as head coach of the women’s national team, is stepping down from her post. Ellis will stay with the team through its five-game World Cup victory tour, which starts Saturday at the Rose Bowl and ends in early October.

“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ellis told U.S. Soccer’s official site. “I want to thank and praise them for their commitment and passion to not only win championships but also raise the profile of this sport globally while being an inspiration to those who will follow them. I want to sincerely thank the world class coaches and staff with whom I’ve had the privilege to work - they are quintessential professionals and even better people. And finally, I want to thank the Federation for their support and investment in this program, as well as all the former players, coaches, and colleagues that have played an important role in this journey.”

Jill Ellis is stepping down as coach of the U.S. women's national soccer team. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Jill Ellis is stepping down as coach of the U.S. women's national team. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Ellis’ contract with U.S. Soccer was set to expire on July 31, and she wouldn’t discuss her future plans following the USWNT’s World Cup victory earlier in July. The contract contained an option year that would have allowed her to coach the USWNT through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but Ellis obviously decided to move on.

“When I accepted the head coaching position this was the timeframe I envisioned,” Ellis said. “The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment.”

In a statement, U.S. Soccer said that Ellis would stay with the organization for another year as an ambassador.

Ellis, 52, was appointed as head coach in 2014 after two separate stints as interim coach. She replaced Tom Sermanni, who had been fired, and had previously served as the development director for all U.S. women’s teams.

Ellis has an overall record of 102-7-18, and won 13 World Cup matches, drew once and never lost with the USWNT. She is just the second coach in World Cup history — man or woman — to win two World Cup trophies. That feat hadn’t been accomplished since Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo did it over 80 years ago.

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