Jill Ellis wins FIFA Women's World Coach of the Year
United State's women's national team coach Jill Ellis was awarded the Women's FIFA World Coach of the Year in Zurich on Monday.
Throughout the spring and much of the 2015 Women's World Cup, Jill Ellis was the recipient of many slings and arrows from U.S. women's national soccer team fans. A lot of observers didn't think Ellis was getting the most bang for the buck on what everyone considers a formidable U.S. roster of talent and firepower.
But, alas, with a game plan and flexibility to lead the U.S. women through a month-long tournament that would require seven wins on artificial turf, Ellis proved her mettle and methodical approach. She had a deep roster of talent, but knew how to ride the hot hand.
For that, Ellis, 49, was rewarded with the prize.
"Wow, a true honor," Ellis said. "First let me congratulate all the nominees here this evening. It's such a thrill to be part of such an amazing football family. To Mark [Sampson, England coach] and Norio [Sasaki, Japan coach], thanks for making it hard and thank you for continuing to elevate the game and leaders in women's football.''
Ellis did not take any personal credit.
"This certainly represents a whole lot of people so, certainly, to my players, our captions, the staff back in the US right now, it's my sincere gratitude for your commitment and your effort and belief in this team. I really, truly believe this is a team award."
She also praised U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, whom she credited for investing in women's soccer.
"It really, really is a special part of the game and we're delighted to be here tonight,'' she said.