[USA WOMEN]U.S. interim coach Jill Ellis was confirmed as the eighth head coach in U.S. women’s national team history and just the third woman. The other final candidate for the job of replacing Tom Sermanni was Swede Tony Gustavsson, head coach of UEFA Women's Champions League finalist Tyreso and a former U.S. women's assistant.
U.S. women's head coaches:
Mike Ryan (1985)
Anson Dorrance (1986-1994)
Tony DiCicco (1994-1999)
April Heinrichs (2000-2004)
Greg Ryan (2005-2007)
Pia Sundhage (2008-2011)
Tom Sermanni (2012-2014)
Jill Ellis (2014-)
Ellis, 47, has served as interim head coach on two different occasions, including the two most recent matches, and officially starts the job with an all-time record of 6-0-3. She has been involved with the national team program since in various capacities since 2000. She was most recently U.S. Soccer’s women’s development director, a position she held since January 2011, overseeing three U.S. girls national teams.
“Jill has been on the bench for more senior and youth women’s national team matches than perhaps any coach in United States history,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulatisaid. “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, 47, coached UCLA for 12 years, leading the Bruins to eight final fours, including seven straight appearances (2003-09). UCLA did leave without winning a national title, however. In five of the eight trips to the College Cup during Ellis, UCLA exited after losing in the semifinals.
Ellis was born in Portsmouth, England, and grew up in Northern Virginia, where her father, John Ellis, played a key role in soccer's development. She attended William & Mary, where she was a third-team All-American in 1987. In 1984, Ellis helped Virginia’s Braddock Road to the Under-19 club national championship.
Ellis’ first matches as the official head coach will come on June 14 and 19 against France. 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 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The eight-team qualifying tournament, which will send three teams to Canada and the fourth-place finisher into a playoff with a country from South America, will be played in October. The format, schedule, venues and ticket information will be announced as the information becomes available.