- U.S. National Team: U.S. Women
- Position: Head Coach
- Date Of Birth: July 1, 1954
- Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland
Tom Sermanni was named head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team on Oct. 30, 2012, becoming the seventh head coach in the team’s history. He will officially start in the position on Jan. 1, 2013.
Sermanni comes to U.S. Soccer after eight years as head coach of the Australia Women’s National Team, which he coached in both the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, reaching the quarterfinal stage at both events. That eight-year period was Sermanni’s second stint as head coach of Australia, as he also coached the Matildas from 1994 through 1997, during which time he led the team to the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden.
Sermanni, who was the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Coach of the Year, led Australia to a runner-up finish at the 2006 AFC Women’s Cup, where the team fell to China in penalty kicks, and to the championship of that tournament in 2010, when the youthful Matildas downed Korea DPR in penalties. During his time in charge of Australia, Sermanni helped bring the team into the top 10 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
Sermanni coached all three seasons of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), serving as an assistant for the San Jose CyberRays during the inaugural season, in which he helped the club to the league championship. He was also an assistant for the CyberRays in 2002 before taking the head coaching job of the New York Power in 2003, where he coached U.S. Women’s National Team legends Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Tiffeny Milbrett.
Sermanni’s coaching career in both men’s and women’s professional soccer has taken him all over the world, including stints in Japan, the USA and Malaysia. Sermanni began his coaching career in men’s soccer in the late 1980s, when he was transitioned from player-coach to head coach of the Canberra Croatia/Metros in the New South Wales State League from 1988-1991. He also coached the Australia Schoolboys side from 1989-1991 and coached the men’s program at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1991-1993. He coached Sydney Olympic FC in the Australian top flight – the National Soccer League – in 1993-1994 before taking his first women’s job with the Australian National Team in 1994.
After stepping away from the Matildas in 1997, Sermanni transitioned back to men’s soccer, traveling to Japan to coach J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima from 1997-1999. He then had a stint with the Canberra Cosmos in the NSL from 1999-2001 before moving to the USA to coach in the WUSA.
After the WUSA ceased operations, Sermanni had a short stint in Malaysia with club side Sarawak before taking over the Australian women for the second time in 2005 when Australia moved from the Oceania Confederation to the Asian Confederation, allowing the Matildas to compete regularly against rising Asian powers who are now some of the best women’s national teams in the world.
Sermanni, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, had a long playing career as a midfielder from 1971 through 1989, when he retired after playing two years with Canberra Croatia and became a player-coach and then head coach. Prior to that, he played from 1984-1987 with Canberra City and in 1983 with Marconi. From 1971 through 1983, he played in England and Scotland, representing Dunfermline Athletic in 1983, Torquay United (England) from 1979-1982 and Blackpool (England) from 1978-1979. He turned professional in 1973 and played six seasons for Albion Rovers from 1973-1978 in Scotland after playing amateur soccer for Cumbernauld United from 1971-1973. Overall, Sermanni played more than 300 professional matches and scored more than 50 goals.
Sermanni, who has lived in Australia since 1983, is married to Alison.