US SoccerUS Soccer

Heinrichs Names John Ellis as Women's National Team Assistant Coach

CHICAGO (Friday, February 4, 2000) - U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach April Heinrichs has named John Ellis as the first appointment to her coaching staff. Ellis, 60, joins the U.S. Women's National Team on a full-time basis as the team begins its preparations for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia this September.

A native of England, Ellis came to the United States in the early 1980s and immersed himself in youth soccer coaching. Over the last 20 years, Ellis has worked with numerous girls and boys club teams in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia areas, including helping the BRYC Bluebells to an Under-19 Girl's National Championship in 1984 and the SYC Spirit to an Under-16 Girl's National Championship in 1988. Ellis also helped guide five other girl's teams to regional titles and helped lead the Annandale Boys Club Red Rebels to an Under-19 Boys National Championship in 1982.

"What I love most about John Ellis is that for the last 40 years, he was worked in soccer every single day," said Heinrichs. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to our staff as well as a worldly approach to coaching the Women's National Team. He will be a tremendous asset to myself and the team."

Ellis brings a vast and varied coaching career to the U.S. Women's National Team. During the 1960s and 70s as staff coach for the English Football Association, with which he holds an Advanced Full Badge Coaching License, Ellis worked with the youth and full national teams in the developing soccer countries of Trinidad & Tobago, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. He also served the English FA as a Director and Staff Coach for National Coaching Qualifying Courses and was Director of the English Schools Player Development Program. As a coach and player, Ellis also served as the Director of Soccer Coaching to the Combined Military Services of Great Britain.

For 15 years, Ellis helped bring together the top players from the British armed forces and traveled extensively throughout the world, but primarily in the British colonies, playing matches and helping develop the national team programs, as well as serving the British embassy in a diplomatic capacity. He also served as head coach for the semi-professional sides of Exmouth Town, Canterbury City and Deal Town. As a senior instructor at the Royal Marines School of Physical Education and Recreation, he achieved the rank of Warrant Officer First Class and was appointed as the inspector of physical training for 2000 Royal Marines.

"It's a great honor to have come to this country and in a sense lived the American dream," said Ellis. "I've had the opportunity to help pioneer many aspects of the game from working with youth clubs, to development of soccer complexes and long-term player development programs. Now, to work with the best players in the world is every coach's ultimate dream and challenge and one that I am looking forward to tremendously. I'm hoping my experience in this supporting role will contribute to the continued success of this team."

Ellis, who also holds a USSF "A" License, has worked extensively with the Virginia State Coaching Program as well as the Virginia ODP. Ellis has previously worked with Heinrichs in the U.S. Women's National Team programs with the Under-16s, coaching such future stars as Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton, Nandi Pryce and Aleisha Cramer.

During his playing career from 1954-1970, Ellis apprenticed with Leyton Orient FC of the English First Division before playing for British Military Teams from 1959-1968. He also played semi-professionally in the English lower divisions for Dartford FC, Deal Town FC and Canterbury FC, as well as for professional sides Rangers in Hong Kong and Wanderers United in Singapore. Ellis resides in Manassas, Virginia with his wife Margaret. Ellis has two children, son Paul and daughter Jill, who is the Head Women's Soccer Coach at UCLA. Heinrichs, who is also the Technical Director for the U.S. Women's National Teams, plans to name additional coaching staff and her youth national team coaches in the near future.