Emma
Hayes

  • Date of Birth Oct 18 1976
  • Hometown London, England

Emma Hayes was named as the 10th full-time head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on November 14, 2023.

Hayes, 47, the long-time head coach for Chelsea FC, one of the most successful women’s teams in Europe, started her coaching career in the United States at the dawn of the millennium and more than two decades later takes the helm of the USWNT. 

Hayes has led Chelsea to five FA Women’s Super League and Cup doubles, winning the league and the FA Cup four times in the same season and the league and the League Cup once. Chelsea won the treble in 2020-2021, taking the WSL, FA Cup and League Cup trophies. 

Hayes’ first Women's FA Cup title with Chelsea came during the 2014-2015 season, and the club followed it with the Women's Super League title to complete a historic and memorable double. She was the only female manager in the league at that time. Hayes led Chelsea to a second domestic double of FA Cup and WSL titles in the 2017-2018 season and reached the semifinal of the UEFA Women’s Champions League for a second time. 

In 2019-2020, the Blues won the WSL title and the League Cup and then successfully defended both trophies the next season while also reaching their first Champions League Final. Those successes resulted in Hayes being named WSL Manager of the Season in consecutive campaigns, and she was also honored with The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award in 2021. The triumphs of the 2021-2022 WSL season made Hayes the first coach to guide a team to three consecutive WSL titles. Last season – 2022-2023 – marked yet another double as Chelsea won the League and FA Cups. 

Hayes, who grew up in London and went to university in Liverpool, came to the USA in 2001. She coached at the youth levels – working with players as young as Under-8s – with numerous clubs in the Long Island area, coached in the New York Olympic Development Program and was a member of the Region I staff. Her first head coaching job was with the Long Island Lady Riders in the USL W-League from 2001-2003. She was the youngest female head coach in the league and was named W-League Coach of the year in 2002. From 2003 onward, she has been a consistent presenter at the annual convention for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, now United Soccer Coaches.

After the Lady Riders, Hayes coached Division I college soccer at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York for four years where she led the Gaels to two conference championships and earned another coach of the year honor before returning to the UK where she became an assistant coach for Arsenal FC, the trailblazing club for women’s pro soccer in the UK, and the Academy Director for Arsenal Ladies. 

During her time in North London, the Gunners achieved unprecedented success, winning 11 major trophies during a three-season spell, including three titles in the Women's Premier League (the precursor to the WSL), three FA Women's Cups and the UEFA Women's Cup crown (the precursor to the UEFA Women’s Champions League). Her role in the Arsenal backroom staff was combined with her position as Academy Director where she oversaw the development of young players at the club, many of whom currently play in the Women's Super League. 

Hayes returned to the United States in 2008 and coached the Chicago Red Stars during the start of Women’s Professional Soccer, the second iteration of a pro league in the United States. Before her first WPS season, with the second overall pick in the league’s inaugural draft, she chose a young attacking player from the University of Portland named Megan Rapinoe. She also had stints working as a coaching consultant for the Washington Freedom and as the technical director at the Western New York Flash, which won the WPS title in 2011 with a team she helped assemble. She returned to England in 2011 and was eventually named head coach at Chelsea, where she has coached numerous national team players from more than 25 different countries. 

Hayes was rewarded with an OBE Order of the British Empire in 2022 on the New Year’s honors list for services to soccer in the UK. Hayes was named an MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire – on the Queen's 90th birthday honors list in June of 2016 and was presented with it the following December. She was inducted into the Women’s Super League Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Hayes is the second England-born coach to head the U.S. Women’s National Team, after Jill Ellis, who spent the entirety of her coaching career in the United States. Hayes is also the fourth full-time female head coach in USWNT history. She holds a UEFA Pro License.

In 2023, Hayes co-wrote a book, Kill The Unicorn, a leadership manual that draws on her experience in high-performance management to argue that the perception of a single great leader is a myth.

In college, Hayes studied European Studies, Spanish and Sociology. She is conversational in Spanish. She recently completed her work towards a master's degree in Business Administration and has a master’s in Intelligence and International Affairs. Hayes has a five-year-old son named Harry.