Soccer

U.S. women's soccer team coach Jill Ellis stepping down after second World Cup triumph

AP

With two Women’s World Cup titles in hand, U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis says it’s time to move on.

Ellis announced Tuesday that she’s resigning, just more than three weeks after the United States raised a second consecutive World Cup trophy following a dominant and record-setting run. She said she started thinking about stepping away around the start of the year, with the intention of seeing the team through this summer’s tournament.

“It’s obviously been a fantastic run, a fantastic ride,” she said.

Ellis said she wanted to spend more time with her family after more than five years in charge of the team. Currently taking some time off following the victorious monthlong odyssey in France, she said doesn’t know what’s next.

“I just need to take a step back and take it all in and see what next intrigues me and piques my interest,” she told reporters on a conference call.

Ellis, 52, was named coach of the team in 2014 and has led it to eight overall tournament titles, including victories at the World Cup in 2015 and earlier this year. Over the course of her tenure, the United States lost just seven matches.

She will remain with the team for a World Cup victory tour which kicks off Saturday with a match against Ireland at the Rose Bowl. Following the conclusion of the five-match tour in October, she will serve as a U.S. Soccer ambassador for at least a year.

Ellis’ contract was set to expire following the World Cup with a mutual option to extend it through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. U.S. Soccer will begin the search for a new coach after a general manager for the women’s team is named. The federation expects to name a GM soon.

“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,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said in a statement. “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.”

Ellis’ assistant coach, Tony Gustavsson, is also stepping down after eight years with the team.