All good things must come to an end. This was the sentiment everyone felt as they watched Jill Ellis bid farewell to the US Women's National Team, as the coach brought an end to her reign during the 1-1 draw with South Korea.
It was an emotional goodbye, and understandably so, as the Stars and Stripes waved farewell to their most successful manager in history. Sunday, October 6, 2019 was her final game in charge and the 53-year-old English tactician has gone down in history.
Not only is does she hold the record for most games coached by a USWNT boss, which now stands at 132 international matches, but she also holds the record for most wins with this national team. She shattered the previous feat held by Tony DiCicco with 105 victories when she registered her 106th win in a 2-0 win over South Korea on Thursday.
Ellis was at the helms of a side so dominant, they suffered only seven defeats under her 132 games in charge. In fact, during her reign, which began with an interim role back in 2012, she has foreseen back-to-back defeats only once at the SheBelieves Cup in 2017.
She will best be known for her record at the FIFA Women's World Cup. No manager has ever guided a nation to back-to-back titles until she accomplished this unprecedented feat in 2019 when USWNT successfully defended their 2015 crown.
In fact, only one other coach has led a country to back-to-back World Cup titles in the men's department and that was former Italy boss Vittorio Pozzo back in 1934 and 1938. Furthermore, Jill has never lost a World Cup game, both in the qualifiers and finals, winning 23 out of 24, with the sole exception being a goalless draw with Sweden in the 2015 group stage.
Then there were her unbeaten streaks. Her longest unbeaten run stands at 28 games but the English boss has also gone without a defeat for 21, 24, and 26 games on three separate occasions.
Winning silverware, not only games, is the pinnacle of success for any coach and this was no different with Ellis. She got her hands on eight trophies, starting with the 2015 Algarve Cup. The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship, the 2016 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 Tournament of Nations, the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship, and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup soon followed.
The focus now shifts to who will succeed her. The four-time World Cup champions know they must find an ideal replacement quickly as the Olympics is only 10 months away.
Taking over a team as big as the USA Women's National Team will be a difficult task for whoever is hired. Following in the footsteps of Jill Ellis will be even harder.