Longtime UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell hired by NWSL’s Orlando Pride
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Pride has hired Amanda Cromwell as the Club’s head coach, it was announced today.
Cromwell joins the Pride from collegiate powerhouse University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she led the Bruins to the 2013 NCAA Championship, three College Cup appearances, seven Sweet 16 appearances, and four Pac-12 team titles, with the most recent conference title in 2021.
“We are excited to welcome Amanda Cromwell as the new head coach of the Orlando Pride,” said Mark Wilf, owner and chairman of the Pride. “After a comprehensive search process, Amanda’s tremendous accomplishments and experience as a head coach for one of the most respected women’s college soccer programs in the country stood out. We are fortunate to be able to bring Amanda’s track record of success in developing national, professional, and collegiate standouts, and her commitment and passion for the game of women’s soccer to our Club. We are confident Amanda will be a terrific leader for the Pride moving forward.”
“I am grateful to the Wilf family and the entire Orlando Pride organization to have the opportunity as the next head coach of the Orlando Pride,” Cromwell said. “I am thrilled to lead this tremendous group of players and be part of a world-class club. The NWSL is a natural transition for me at this point in my career and I am excited to return to the Central Florida soccer community. At the same time, I am thankful for the nine fantastic years I have spent as the head coach at UCLA, supported by my players on the field, coaches by my side, and an administration dedicated to competitive excellence. I have a heavy heart leaving the players and coaches, but I know the future is bright.”
Cromwell joins the Pride following a highly-respected 25-year head coaching tenure at the collegiate ranks. Over this time, the Annandale, Va. native compiled a 356-126-44 coaching record (.680 winning percentage).
In addition to the 2013 Championship, which led to a 2014 Soccer America Coach of the Year honor, Cromwell also guided the Bruins to the 2017 College Cup Final, ultimately falling to Stanford, in a match played at Exploria Stadium. Cromwell was also named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2020.
Since joining UCLA in 2013, 20 of Cromwell’s Bruins have been selected in the NWSL Draft, including the Pride’s 2021 First Round pick Viviana Villacorta.
Prior to the move to Los Angeles, the 51-year-old spent 14 seasons in Orlando as the head coach at the University of Central Florida. With the Knights, Cromwell led the team to four Atlantic Sun Tournament championships, four Conference USA regular-season titles, the 2012 C-USA tournament title and 11 NCAA tournament appearances, becoming the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2009.
Cromwell began her coaching career as an assistant at her alma mater, the University of Virginia, in 1992 before taking her first head coaching position at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1996.
As a player, Cromwell earned 55 caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1991-98, where she was also a member of the 1995 bronze medal-winning squad and an alternate on the 1996 gold medal team at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
At the club level, Cromwell was an integral part in the establishment of women’s professional soccer in the United States, playing for the Washington Freedom, Atlanta Beat and San Jose CyberRays of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). Collegiately with the Cavaliers, Cromwell captained her team to the 1991 NCAA Final Four and was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist that same season.
In becoming the Pride’s third head coach, Cromwell will divest her investment stake in expansion side Angel City FC.
The Pride look to begin the 2021-22 offseason process with the NWSL Expansion Draft and NWSL Draft on Dec. 16 and 18, respectively.
[Photo Credit: Percy Anderson / UCLA Athletics]