U.S. interim coach Jill Ellis
was confirmed as the eighth head coach in U.S. women’s national team
history. Just three coaches were considered for the job. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati
said said Ellis' job description consists of one thing: win next
year's Women's World Cup in Canada.
The other final candidates for the job of replacing Tom Sermanni
were Swede Tony Gustavsson
, head coach of UEFA Women's Champions League finalist Tyreso and a former U.S. women's assistant, and former U.S. women's coach Tony
“Jill has got all of the right credentials, both in terms of experience and how she relates to the players," said Gulati in a conference call with media after the
announcement of the hiring. "We’ve seen that first hand in the two times she has been with the senior team and with our youth teams. She gets top marks in all the work she has been doing on the
technical side with all of our programs.” 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
(2012-2014) Jill Ellis
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.
She coached UCLA for 12 years, leading the Bruins to
eight Women's College Cups, including seven straight appearances (2003-09). 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 withdrew her name for consideration during her first interim stint as national team coach. She said it was a "personal and timing
issue." Sermanni was picked from among six final candidates but was fired in April after losing just two games in 15-plus months on the job.
This time, Ellis said it "felt right" to seek
out the national team job. "My energy is there and the excitement of moving forward with this group is a huge honor," she added.
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.
“I know the expectation, embrace
the expectation, know we want to win, and I know this group is capable of winning,” Ellis said. “That is what we want. It is always the expectation.”