Jill Ellis, who coached the UCLA's women's soccer team to the NCAA Final Four eight times in 12 seasons, was confirmed Friday as the new coach of the U.S. women's national team.
Ellis has been coaching the team on an interim basis for the last six weeks following the firing of Tom Sermanni.
Ellis, 47, the eighth coach in U.S. Women's National Team team history, has coached at every level of the USWNT program and was an assistant on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning squads. She had previously served as interim head coach following the 2012 Olympics and is unbeaten in nine matches, going 6-0-3.
"Jill has been on the bench for more senior and youth women's national team matches than perhaps any coach in United States history," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "She has worked at this for many years and has tremendous knowledge of our player pool and the qualities of multiple generations of players.
"We are confident she is the best person to find the right combinations on the field to make us successful in World Cup qualifying and beyond. She has experienced firsthand the growth of women's soccer worldwide and is uniquely positioned to lead our team to an even higher level."
Ellis' first match as the official coach of the top-ranked Americans will be June 14 against fourth-ranked France in Tampa, Fla. Her first major tournament will come on home soil as U.S. Soccer has been selected to host the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.
"I'm humbled and proud to lead the current generation of players toward the ultimate goal, a FIFA World Cup championship," Ellis said.
The eight-team World Cup qualifying tournament, which will send three teams to Canada and the fourth-place finisher into a playoff with a country from South America, will be played in October and was originally scheduled to be held in Mexico. CONCACAF announced Friday that the event would be played instead in the U.S. The format, schedule, venues and ticket information will be announced as the information becomes available.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun