by Jen Cooper
Keeper Notes editor
Today’s Victory Tour match against South Korea marks the last game as head coach for Jill Ellis. Her USWNT coaching career began nearly twenty years ago when she served as coach of the U-21 USWNT in 2000. She went on to managed the American squad at the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup, working with future USWNT players like Sydney Leroux, Adrianna Franch, Samantha Mewis, Crystal Dunn and Casey Short.
Ellis later served as assistant coach under Pia Sundhage for both the 2011 Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Olympics. When Sundhage resigned after leading the US women to Olympic gold, Ellis stepped in to serve as interim coach while the search was underway that fall for a new head coach (she chose not to pursue the head coach job at that time). She was in charge for the last seven matches of 2012, leading the Americans to a 5-0-2 record before Tom Sermanni took over at the start of 2013.
Barely 16 months later, Ellis returned to the USWNT bench when Sermanni was fired in April 2014. She again took the role as interim head coach, leading the team to a 3-0 win versus China and a 1-1 draw versus Canada, before US Soccer made her title official on May 16, 2014. Flash forward five-plus years and Ellis ends her USWNT coaching career with back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles, two FIFA Best Women’s Coach of the Year honors and more wins than any other USWNT coach (she passed the legendary Tony DiCicco with her 106th win Thursday versus South Korea).
So here’s a short statistical look at the USWNT coaching career of Jill Ellis:
• She coached the USWNT against 37 different national teams in 10 different countries. Of her 131 games before today, 96 were played on US soil.
• The teams she faced the most were China and France (10 times each). Ellis went 5-3-2 versus France, and 8-1-1 against China.
• Ellis lost just 7 times during her tenure. In addition to the 3 losses to France and 1 loss to China noted above, she lost once each to Australia (2017 Tournament of Nations), Brazil and England (2017 SheBelieves Cup).
• In her 131 matches (before today’s game), Ellis’ teams outscored their opponents by a margin of 410 to 70.
• in 14 Women’s World Cup matches, Ellis’s record stands at 13-0-1. The single draw was versus Sweden in the group stage of the 2015 tournament.
• Under Ellis’ management, the USWNT was held scoreless just 9 times in 131 games (4 ties, 5 losses).
• Three goalkeepers earned their first senior cap under Ellis — Alyssa Naeher (December 2014), Jane Campbell (April 2017) and Adrianna Franch (March 2019).
• Ellis gave two teenagers their first senior USWNT cap — Mallory Pugh in January 2016 (age 17) and Tierna Davidson in January 2018 ( age 19).
• She also gave first caps to two players aged 30 (the two oldest players to earn USWNT caps) — Gina Lewandowski in October 2015 and McCall Zerboni in October 2017.
• Ellis was USWNT head coach at only one Algarve Cup, winning the 2015 title with a 2-0 victory over France.
• She has recorded the most USWNT wins (106 through October 3), but her win percentage ranks fourth among all USWNT coaches:
|Coach||W||L||T||Win %||Total Gms||Era|
|DiCicco||105||8||8||90.1%||121||1995 – 1999|
|Ryan, G.||45||1||9||90.0%||55||2005 – 2007|
|Sundhage||91||6||10||89.7%||107||2008 – 2012|
|Ellis||106||7||18||87.8%||131||2012, 2014 – 2019|
|Sermanni||18||2||4||83.3%||24||2013 – 2014|
|Heinrichs||87||17||20||78.2%||124||2000 – 2004|
|Dorrance||65||22||5||73.4%||92||1986 – 1994|