Jill Ellis has announced that she will be stepping down as the head coach of the United States Women's National Team, after winning a second consecutive World cup title. She's the first coach in history to win back-to-back Women's World Cups.
Her contract was set to expire following the 2019 Women's World Cup, with an option to extend through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to the Associated Press.
Ellis, 52, will step down after the team's Victory Tour, which ends in October. She'll continue to work with U.S. Soccer for at least a year as an Ambassador. Her roles include representing the Federation at events and speaking engagements.
“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ellis said in a statement on the U.S. Soccer website. “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.”
She has been the USWNT head coach since 2014, and she was the eighth head coach to be named. A little over a year after she became coach, she led the women's team to to victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. Since then, she's won eight tournaments in total.
In addition to being the first coach to win two consecutive Women's World Cup games, Ellis has also coached a record 127 USWNT games. in 2015, she was named FIFA World Coach of the Year and Concacaf Coach of the Year for Women's soccer.
U.S. Soccer will begin the search for Ellis's successor after the organization names its first General Manager for the women's team.
“The U.S. Soccer Federation and the sport in general owes Jill a debt of gratitude,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said in a statement. “Jill was always extremely passionate about this team, analytical, tremendously focused and not afraid to make tough decisions while giving her players the freedom to play to their strengths. She helped raise the bar for women’s soccer in the USA and the world, and given the history of this program, the level of success she achieved is even more remarkable.”