Jill Ellis

Category: Coaches, Soccer, Women in Sports
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Veteran soccer coach, Jill Ellis, is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable coaches in the game today. She is currently the head coach of the United States Women’s National team. In 2015, Jill led the squad to their first FIFA World Cup title since 1999. The daughter of legendary soccer coach, John Ellis, Jill grew up in England playing soccer, and later moved to the United States where she began playing for the College of William and Mary. After a successful career as a starting forward for William and Mary, Ellis moved on to coaching and served as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at North Carolina State University from 1988-1990.

As an assistant coach for the Wolfpack, Jill helped lead the team to the 1988 Atlantic Coast Conference title and a NCAA Final Four appearance. She then went on to coach at University of Maryland from 1994-1996 and University of Virginia from 1996-1997.  Jill then moved on to her first head coaching position for the women’s soccer team at the University of Illinois where she stayed for two years 1997-1999. As head of the Fighting Illini, she brought the team to their first ever Big Ten Tournament berth.  After her stint at Illinois, she became head coach for the University of California Los Angeles, where she led the women’s team to eight NCAA Final Fours, including seven consecutive appearances form 2003-2009.  The team also won six straight Pacific-12 Conference titles from 2003-2008. During her time at UCLA she was named the 2000 NSCAA National Coach of the Year after taking the Bruins to the NCAA Final in just her second season as head coach. Ellis ended her collegiate coaching career with a record of 248 wins, 63 losses, and 14 draws over 14 years at Illinois and UCLA, making for one of the most impressive collegiate coaching records of all-time.

After the success in the collegiate coaching scene, sports speaker Jill Ellis was named head coach of the United States under-21 women’s national soccer teams. In this position she coached a team to win the Nordic Cup title in Germany 2000, and a team to win the Nordic cup in Sweden 2005. She also served as the head coach for the U.S. under-20 women’s national team, and guided them to the CONCACAF title in 2010, as well as to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Additionally, Ellis served as a scout for the U.S. women’s national team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and was an assistant coach under Pia Sundhage at the Beijing 2008 Olympics where the women’s team took the gold. In January 2011 Ellis joined the U.S. Soccer staff full-time and was appointed as the Development Director for the U.S. women’s national teams. Just a year later in 2012, Jill was appointed interim head coach of the U.S. women’s national team after previous head coach Pia Sundhage left for the Sweden women’s national football team.  Later that year it was announced that Tom Sermanni would be the new head coach of the United States Women’s national soccer team, and Ellis finished her short season as interim head coach with an impressive five wins, two draws, and no losses. In April 2014 the U.S. Soccer Federation announced the firing of Tom Sermanni and Ellis was reappointed as interim head coach. On May 16, 2014, Jill was named the head coach for the USWNT.