CHICAGO - After leading the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team to historic back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup titles and earning a new record for number of games as head coach of the national team (127 matches, to be exact), Jill Ellis will be stepping down from her role as head coach following the completion of the Victory Tour in October, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Tuesday.
"The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime," Ellis said. "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."
The U.S. Soccer Federation paid tribute to Ellis and her legacy in a poignant video posted to their Twitter account Tuesday.
"The U.S. Soccer Federation and the sport in general owes Jill a debt of gratitude," said U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro. "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."
On May 16, 2014, Ellis became the eighth head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team. Only 13 months later, she led the team to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup title in Canada. At the end of 2015, Ellis was named the FIFA World Coach of the Year and Concacaf Coach of the Year for Women's Soccer.
This year, she made history as the first head coach to win two Women's World Cups with an overall record of 102-7-18.
"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," Ellis said. "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."
Though Ellis is stepping away from the U.S. Women's National Team, she will still be a part of U.S. Soccer as she steps into a new role of ambassador. Among her duties will be representing the federation at various events and speaking engagements.
Of the decision to step down as head coach, Ellis simply said that it's just time.
"When I accepted the head coaching position this was the time frame I envisioned," Ellis said. "The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women's soccer. Change is something I have always embraced in my life and for me and my family this is the right moment."