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Dan McDonald | | October 7, 2019

Jill Ellis' college career: Records, history for winningest coach in UCLA and USWNT history

UCLA Athletics Jill Ellis UCLA

Jill Ellis coached her final game as head coach of the United States Women’s Soccer National Team in a 1-1 friendly draw against Korea on Oct. 6.

Following a playing career at William & Mary where Ellis was named third-team All-American in 1987 and earning her master's degree from NC State, she turned down a job as a technical writer to continue pursuing coaching. 

And the rest, as they say, was history.

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At each level, she has achieved incredible success, headlined by her record two World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019.

Here’s a look back at her stellar coaching career.

Early college coaching career

Ellis was an assistant for three teams from 1988 until 1997. From 1988-90 she began her career as an assistant for NC State. The 1988 team won the ACC championship and advanced to the Women's College Cup finals. 

From there, she joined the staff at Maryland from 1994-96 and finally Virginia from 1996-97.

Ellis then landed her first head coaching job at Illinois. She led the Illini to a 12-8 record and their first berth in the Big Ten Tournament in her second and final year at the helm in 1998. 

Leading the Bruins

Ellis then headed west and took over as head coach at UCLA in 1999, where she'd begin a historic run with the Bruins.

She was named National Coach of the Year in 2000 after leading the Bruins to the NCAA championship game in just her second season. 

Beginning in 2003, she led UCLA to six straight Pac-10 titles and seven straight NCAA College Cup appearances. In 2004 and 2005, the Bruins reached the championship game but fell to Notre Dame and Portland, respectively. 

Ellis compiled a record of 229-45-14 while at UCLA, a school record for wins that still stands today.

U.S. Women’s National Team success

Ellis served as the head coach of the USWNT from 2014-19 and was an interim head coach for the team in 2012.

During that time, she has managed the most number of games (131) of any U.S. women’s coach, compiling a record of 106-7-19. Her 106th win, which came against South Korea on Oct. 3, broke the record of 105 set by Tony DiCicco.

The 2019 U.S. World Cup victory made her the only coach to win two women’s World Cups in a career. Also, she became the first manager, men’s or women’s, since Vittorio Pozzo in 1938 to have won two consecutive World Cup titles.

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