All good things must come to an end, and so it is that Jill Ellis has stepped down as coach of the United States women’s soccer team.
Ellis, who took charge in 2014, led the side to two World Cup final victories, most recently in France earlier this year. She oversaw her final match Sunday, a 1-1 draw against South Korea in Chicago.
The 53-year-old stands down as the most successful coach in USWNT history with 106 wins, 19 draws and just seven losses.
She is the only person to take charge of two successful Women’s World Cup campaigns, recording victories in all 15 games across her two tournaments bar a 0-0 draw against Sweden in 2015.
The US defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon in July to lift its fourth World Cup title and over the past two months has contested matches against Ireland, Portugal and South Korea as part of a Victory Tour.
“I’m privileged to have done this job for so long,” Ellis told reporters Sunday.
“Numbers and all that kind of fade away and it becomes about the players, the staff, the people, and the memories. I’ve got a trunk full of memories from this for sure and it’s been fantastic.”
It was her penultimate game in charge – a 2-0 victory over South Korea on October 3 – that saw Ellis surpass Tony DiCicco’s record of 105 wins as USWNT manager.
During Ellis’ five years in charge, the US team has become a powerful collective voice for gender equality in sport. A lawsuit filed by players against the US Soccer Federation has been scheduled for trial starting on May 5 next year.
Former player Kate Markgraf, who was appointed as the USWNT’s general manager in August, lis leading the hunt for the team’s next manager.
Markgraf previously named Laura Harvey, Paul Riley, Vlatko Andonovski and Mark Krikorian as potential candidates to take over from Ellis.
Carli Lloyd scored the USA’s only goal in Sunday’s game against South Korea, a first-half equalizer three minutes after Ji So-yun had given the visiting side the lead.
The US next faces Sweden on November 8 in Columbus.