The William & Mary Athletic Department honored United States Women’s National Team coach and former women’s soccer player Jill Ellis ’88 with the Tribe Champion for Life award at halftime of the football game on Saturday night.
The Tribe Champion for Life award recognizes an alumna who has demonstrated leadership, integrity, fortitude, and excellence in her personal, professional or philanthropic accomplishments.
Ellis led the U.S. Women’s National Team to its first FIFA World Cup title since 1999 this summer in Canada. The U.S. dominated its way through the tournament with a record of 6-0-1, and only surrendered three goals. She was named head coach of the U.S. National Team in May of 2014, after serving as the U.S. Women’s Soccer development director since 2011. Prior to her stint with U.S. Soccer, Ellis led UCLA to eight NCAA Final Fours over a 12-year stretch. During her time with the Bruins, she posted a 229-45-14 record.
Originally from Portsmouth, England, Ellis played forward for the Tribe from 1984-87. She finished her career with 32 goals, 19 assists, and ranks ninth in career points with 83, while earning Third Team All-America honors during her senior season. She helped the Tribe to the NCAA tournament all four seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 1987. She was inducted into the William & Mary Hall of Fame in 2002. Ellis earned her degree from William and Mary in English literature and composition.
The Tribe Champions for Life award is typically presented during The Celebration of Women's Athletics (CWA) event, scheduled to take place on April 9, 2016. Unfortunately, Ellis’ schedule with the U.S. National Team will not allow her to be present.
The CWA originated to highlight the history of W&M's women's athletics programs and to recognize the dedication and determination of former varsity athletes. Now in its seventh year, the event brings together female athletes and coaches to celebrate shared successes on and off the field and to honor women whose experience in intercollegiate athletics has shaped their personal, professional and charitable lives.