Jill Ellis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jill Ellis
Ellis at the Algarve Cup in March 2015
Personal information
Full name Jillian Anne Ellis[1]
Date of birth (1966-09-06) 6 September 1966 (age 57)[2]
Place of birth Folkestone, England[2]
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[3]
Position(s) Forward
Team information
Current team
San Diego Wave FC (president)
Youth career
1981–1984 Robinson Rams
0000–1984 Braddock Road Bluebelles
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1987 William & Mary Tribe (32)
Managerial career
1988–1990 NC State Wolfpack (assistant)
1994–1996 Maryland Terrapins (assistant)
1996–1997 Virginia Cavaliers (assistant)
1997–1998 Illinois Fighting Illini
1999–2010 UCLA Bruins
2000 United States U21
2005 United States U21
2007 United States U20
2008 United States (assistant)
2009–2010 United States U20
2011–2012 United States (assistant)
2012 United States (interim)
2014 United States (interim)
2014–2019 United States

Jillian Anne Ellis (born 6 September 1966) is an English-American football manager and executive who is currently the president of San Diego Wave FC.[4] Ellis coached the United States women's national team from 2014 to 2019 and won two FIFA Women's World Cups in 2015 and 2019, making her the second coach to win consecutive World Cups.[5] She stepped down as the team's head coach in October 2019 and currently serves as an ambassador for the United States Soccer Federation, with her focus being on working with the federation to help raise the number of women in coaching. She has also served as head coach for various college and United States national youth teams over her career.[6]

Early life and playing career[edit]

Ellis did not play organised football until her family moved to the United States in 1981, as there was no organised football for girls in the UK in the 1970s.[7][8] She captained the Robinson Secondary School team in Fairfax, Virginia to the 1984 state championship and won the under-19 national title with the Braddock Road Bluebelles the same summer.[7]

She went on to play as a forward at William & Mary from 1984 to 1987, when she was named third-team All-American.[6] She scored 32 goals during her four seasons at the school.[9]

Coaching and administrative career[edit]

Ellis has a USSF Pro coaching licence; with coaching experiences that includes multiple stints for the under-20 and under-21 national teams, and an impressive record as a UCLA Bruins coach.[10][6][11][12][13] She is the development director of United States Soccer Federation. She served as assistant coach of the women's national team, head coach of a number of women youth teams, and was the interim coach of the senior women's national team in 2012,[6] and for 2 matches in 2014. She was appointed the permanent head coach of United States women in May 2014.

College coaching[edit]

Ellis served as an assistant coach for three universities: at Maryland for three years, 1994–96; at Virginia for one year, 1996–97; and at NC State for another three years, 1988–90. As an assistant coach at N.C. State, Ellis helped the NC State secure the 1988 Atlantic Coast Conference title and an NCAA Women's College Cup appearance.[6]

Ellis headed the Illinois women's program for two years from 1997 to 1998. In 1998, she brought the Fighting Illini to a 12–8 record and a first-ever Big Ten Tournament berth.[6]

Ellis led UCLA to eight NCAA Women's College Cups, including seven in a row from 2003 to 2009, and won six straight Pacific-10 Conference titles from 2003 to 2008. She finished her time in Westwood with a record of 229 wins, 45 losses and 14 draws (229–45–14). She was the 2000 NSCAA National Coach of the Year after leading the Bruins to the NCAA championship game in just her second season as head coach.[6][14]

Ellis has an all-time collegiate coaching record of 248 wins, 63 losses and 14 draws (248–63–14), compiled over 14 years with the Illinois Fighting Illini and UCLA Bruins.[6][15]

National youth teams manager[edit]

Ellis was the head coach of the United States under-21 women's national football teams, coaching a team to win the Nordic Cup title at Germany 2000 and to Sweden's 2005 Nordic Cup. In another stint as youth team's head coach, she guided the U.S. under-20 women's national team to the CONCACAF title in 2010 and to the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany.[16]

National Development Director[edit]

Ellis was appointed by U.S. Soccer as Development Director for the U.S. women's national teams in January 2011. The appointment, along with April Heinrichs as Technical Director, marked the first time U.S. Soccer had appointed full-time positions to oversee the programs and development of national women's youth teams.[17]

As Development Director, Ellis interacts directly with coaches within the youth club leagues and guides the U.S. under-17, under-15 and under-14 teams.[6][17]

National team manager[edit]

Ellis was a scout for the U.S. women's national team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and while coach of the UCLA Bruins Ellis also served as an assistant coach under Pia Sundhage for the gold medal-winning U.S. women's national team at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.[18]

2012 interim coach[edit]

Following Sundhage's departure on 1 September 2012, for Sweden, Ellis (as women's national team program development director) served as the interim head coach until U.S. Soccer hired Tom Sermanni as the full-time head coach on 1 January 2013.[10][6][19][20]

Ellis's first appearances as head coach of United States women's national team was against Germany, on 20 October 2012, at Bridgeview, Illinois, and on 23 October at Hartford, Connecticut. The international friendly matches were part of a series organized to celebrate the winning of the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.[10] The first match finished at 1–1 and the second at 2–2.[m 1][m 2]

With a match against China on 15 December 2012, Ellis completed her first stint as interim head coach of U.S. women's national team with 5 wins, 2 draws, and no loss.[m 1][m 2][m 3][m 4] [m 5][m 6][m 7]

2014 interim coach[edit]

On 6 April 2014, U.S. Soccer announced the firing of Tom Sermanni and re-appointment of Ellis as interim head coach of the U.S. women's national team.[21] As interim head coach in 2014, Ellis had a 3–0 win against China and a 1–1 draw with Canada.[m 8][m 9]

2014 appointment as head coach[edit]

On 16 May 2014, U.S. Soccer announced that Ellis had been appointed as the national team's head coach on a permanent basis.[22] Ellis's job as head coach was to qualify for the 2015 Women's World Cup and win the championship.[22] On 5 July 2015, she coached the United States to a 5–2 victory over Japan to win the World Cup.[m 10] Ellis was honored as 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football on 11 January 2016.[23]

According to an investigation,[24] Ellis was one of the USWNT leaders who did not take action after being told of a "hostile [coaching] environment" in 2014, and receiving in 2015 a player survey with "quite disturbing" allegations including sexual harassment.[25]

In 2016, the U.S. women's national team recorded five shutout wins to secure the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship. However, the team struggled during the 2016 Summer Olympics, drawing against Colombia in the group stage and eliminated to eventual silver medal winners Sweden — a team led by former national team coach Pia Sundhage — 4–3 on penalty kicks after drawing in regulation and extra time. The loss marked the first time that the U.S. women's national team did not advance to the gold medal game of the Olympics, as well as the first time that the team failed to advance to the semifinal round of a major tournament.[26] The effort was further marred when U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedish team "cowards" for their defensive tactics. Ellis would later cite those comments as part of the reason why U.S. Soccer terminated Solo's contract and suspended her from the team.[27]

The U.S. women's national team won four subsequent international friendly matches (9–0 against Thailand, 3–1 against the Netherlands, and 4–0 and 5–1 in two matches against Switzerland). The latter two friendlies featured the largest squad turnover of Ellis's tenure as she brought in 11 uncapped players, started or played 6 of them, and left several regular players out of camp.[28][29][30][31]

Ellis at a friendly against Portugal during the 2019 Victory Tour

Before the friendly against Thailand, Ellis asked U.S. women's national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe not to kneel during the pre-game performance of the United States national anthem. Rapinoe had done so before matches with her National Women's Soccer League team, Seattle Reign FC, prior to camp in support of other professional athletes' similar protests. Despite Ellis's request, she did not punish Rapinoe after the game.[30]

On 7 July 2019 she led the United States Women's National Team to win its fourth World Cup and its second consecutive.[32] In the final match against Netherlands in Lyon, France, the team won 2–0. The 2019 World Cup Champion Team beat the world record for most goals in a tournament with 26 goals.[32] She became not only the first manager to win two Women's World Cup titles in history, but also the first national team coach, men's or women's, to have won two consecutive FIFA World Cup titles since Vittorio Pozzo guided Italy's men's national football team to two consecutive titles in both 1934 and 1938.[33][34]

On 30 July 2019, U.S. Soccer announced that Ellis would be stepping down as coach of the Women's National Team.[35] She remained with the team through the World Cup victory tour and continued to work with U.S. Soccer as an ambassador.[36]

Coaching record[edit]

As of 6 October 2019
Team Years Matches Won Tied Lost Win % Pts÷M World Cup Olympics
United States 2012 (interim), 2014–2019 132 106 19 7 87.5 2.55 5th

San Diego Wave FC President[edit]

In June 2021, the National Women's Soccer League announced that Ellis would be the President of the San Diego Wave FC, an expansion team, before their inaugural season.[1] Ron Burkle, the San Diego Wave's owner, reportedly reached out to Ellis for consulting work, but she stated she wanted "to run the whole damn thing."[2] Shortly after naming Ellis, the club announced Casey Stoney as the first head coach and Molly Downtain as the first general manager.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ellis was born in Folkestone and grew up in Cowplain, a small village 11 miles north of Portsmouth on the southern coast of England. She was a supporter of Manchester United, and attended Padnell Junior School and Cowplain School.[37] Naturally athletic, she ran track and field, and played field hockey and netball,[37] but did not play organised football as it was considered "unladylike" in 1970s Britain.[7] She would, however, tag along with her brother Paul and play with the boys whenever they needed an extra player.[7]

Her father, John Ellis, a former Royal Marines commando, was a longtime football ambassador for the British government, assigned to help create football programs worldwide, including in Trinidad and Tobago and in Singapore.[38] He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. women's national team in 2000 and 2001.[39] In 1981, the Ellis family moved to Northern Virginia, where he founded Soccer Academy in Manassas.[7]

Her brother Paul also became a football coach, coaching area high school teams and serving as an assistant coach at George Mason before taking a full-time position at Soccer Academy Inc.[6]

Ellis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Composition at the College of William and Mary in 1988. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2016, and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa as an alumni member at the College of William and Mary in 2019. She also did work towards a master's degree in technical writing at North Carolina State University.[7] Her mother Margaret "was horrified", on learning of her plan to give up her lucrative job as a technical writer at Northern Telecom to work as an assistant coach with subsistence pay,[40] while John advised her to "do something substantial" instead.[7]

Ellis lives in Palmetto Bay, Florida, a suburb of Miami, with her wife Betsy Stephenson, whom she married in 2013, and their adopted daughter Lily Stephenson-Ellis.[41][42] Ellis, along with her parents and brother, are naturalized American citizens.[7]


  • Third-Team All-American in 1987 at College of William and Mary[43]

Managerial honors[edit]

Collegiate As assistant coach of NC State Wolfpack:[6]

As head coach of UCLA Bruins:[6]

United States Women

As coach of youth teams:[6]

  • Nordic Cup title at Germany 2000 under-21 tournament
  • 2010 under-20 CONCACAF title

As assistant coach of senior team:[6]

  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold medal

As head coach of senior team:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois" (PDF). trustees.uillinois.edu. 9 April 1997. p. 11. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "WNT Coaching Staff". United States Soccer Federation. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  3. ^ "1987 Pre-Season Roster". 1987 William and Mary Women's Soccer. Williamsburg, Virginia: William & Mary Tribe. 1987.
  4. ^ Megdal, Howard. "With Arrival Of Jill Ellis, San Diego's New NWSL Team Has A Veteran Presence Steering The Organization". Forbes. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Jill Ellis". San Diego NWSL. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Jillian Ellis". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 24 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Goff, Steven (11 June 2015). "Jill Ellis played soccer with boys. Now she leads U.S. in Women's World Cup". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Women's World Cup: The English coaches driving USA success". BBC Sport. 1 July 2019.
  9. ^ Vander Vorst, Mitch (2015). "For The Win". William & Mary Alumni Magazine. Vol. 81, no. 1. Retrieved 23 July 2022.
  10. ^ a b c "Jill Ellis interim coach of US women". Yahoo! SPORTS: The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Player Bio: Jillian Ellis". UCLA Official Athletic Site. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
  12. ^ "HEAD COACH: U.S. Women's U-21 National Team: Jillian Ellis". soccertimes.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Jillian Ellis Named Coach of U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Soccer: Coach Jillian Ellis leaves UCLA". ESPN. 6 January 2011.
  15. ^ "B.J. Snow to coach UCLA women's football program, Jillian Ellis moving on". DAILY BRUIN. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  16. ^ "U.S. Soccer and Jill Ellis Agree to Multi-Year Contract Extension". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  17. ^ a b "Heinrichs and Ellis hired to run girls program". SoccerAmericaDaily.
  18. ^ "Ex-USWNT coach Jill Ellis on why Australia's a World Cup favourite under Gustavsson". ESPN.com. 23 April 2023. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  19. ^ Wendy Soderburg (5 August 2008). "Bruin athletes vie for Olympic glory". UCLA Today. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Tom Sermanni Named Head Coach of U.S. Women's National Team". Archived from the original on 3 November 2012.
  21. ^ Apr 6, foxsports; ET, 2014 at 10:23p (6 April 2014). "USWNT fires coach Sermanni, Ellis takes over in the interim". FOX Sports.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ a b "Jill Ellis Named Head Coach of U.S. Women's National Team".
  23. ^ "Carli Lloyd and Jill Ellis Honored as FIFA Women's World Player and Coach of the Year". ussoccer.com. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  24. ^ Yates, Sally (3 October 2022). "Report of the Independent Investigation to the U.S. Soccer Federation Concerning Allegations of Abusive Behavior and Sexual Misconduct in Women's Professional Soccer" (PDF). King & Spalding. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  25. ^ "Yates report explained: Key findings, why the abuse was so widespread, what's next for the NWSL". ESPN.com. 4 October 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  26. ^ "U.S. bounced from women's soccer tournament by Sweden on penalty kicks". Los Angeles Times. 12 August 2016.
  27. ^ Grant Wahl (6 September 2016). "USWNT coach Jill Ellis speaks out on Hope Solo termination". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Williams, Heath, Press, Mewis score for USA in big second half vs. Switzerland". 20 October 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  29. ^ Graham Hays. "New faces, new lineup lead U.S. women to 4–0 victory". ESPN. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  30. ^ a b Graham Hays (19 September 2016). "Megan Rapinoe kneels again, defying 'expectation' of U.S. Soccer". ESPN. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  31. ^ Molly Blue (18 September 2016). "Tobin Heath gets an assist, Allie Long scores in USWNT's 3–1 win against the Netherlands: Updates recap". The Oregonian. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  32. ^ a b "FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ - Matches - USA - Netherlands - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Archived from the original on 7 June 2019.
  33. ^ Schaerlaeckens, Leander (7 July 2019). "Jill Ellis was vindicated at this Women's World Cup". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  34. ^ McIntyre, Doug (7 July 2019). "What does the future hold for USWNT coach Jill Ellis after World Cup?". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  35. ^ Goulding, Georgia (31 July 2020). "Opinion: Vlatko Already Commands More Respect than Jill Ellis". Her Football Hub. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  36. ^ "JILL ELLIS TO STEP DOWN AS U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM HEAD COACH". USSoccer.com. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  37. ^ a b Hays, Graham (10 June 2015). "How Jill Ellis became the highest-profile women's coach in the world". espnW. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  38. ^ Foster, Shaun. "Former Players Stories: John Ellis 1958–80". Royal Marines Football. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  39. ^ "John Ellis". Virginia–D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  40. ^ Kauffman, Michelle (4 September 2014). "U.S. football coach Jill Ellis finds haven in Miami as she prepares for 2015 Women's World Cup". Miami Herald.
  41. ^ Wahl, Grant (27 June 2015). "USA finds inspiration in Supreme Court ruling for WWC win over China". Planet Fútbol. Sports Illustrated.
  42. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (29 June 2015). "Critics don't faze U.S. World Cup soccer team coach". Miami Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  43. ^ "Jill Ellis '88, L.H.D '16". William & Mary. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  44. ^ "Jill Ellis | The Chubb Fellowship". chubbfellowship.yale.edu. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  45. ^ "Javier Hernandez and Carli Lloyd Named 2015 CONCACAF Players of the Year". concacaf.com. 22 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2016.

Match reports

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Women's National Team and Germany Play to 1–1 Draw in Front of Sell Out Crowd at Toyota Park". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b "WNT and Germany Play to 2–2 Draw at Rentschler Field". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  3. ^ "U.S. WNT Defeats Ireland 5–0 in Fan Tribute Tour, Presented by Panasonic". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 2 December 2012.
  4. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Defeats Ireland 2–0 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  5. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Defeats China PR 2–0 in Detroit". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012.
  6. ^ "U.S. WNT Beats China PR 4–0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012.
  7. ^ "U.S. WNT Beats China PR 4–1 to Wrap up 2012". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Lloyd Hits for Two, Leroux Adds the Third: U.S. WNT vs. China". U.S.Soccer. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  9. ^ "U.S. Rallies for 1–1 Draw Against Canada". U.S.Soccer. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  10. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015: USA 5 – 2 Japan". FIFA.com. 5 July 2015. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.

External links[edit]