(Jesse Louie/Just Women's Sports)

The Chicago Red Stars announced Friday that they have hired Chris Petrucelli as the club’s next head coach.

Petrucelli joins the Red Stars after serving as the head coach at Southern Methodist University for nine seasons.

“We are excited to start a new chapter for the club with Chris as our head coach,” said Red Stars’ chief business officer Vicky Lynch. “The importance of this hire is immeasurable. That is why I am incredibly proud that several of our players played an integral role as key members of the search committee. Everyone in the organization is eager to start the 2022 season and bring a championship home to Chicago.”

An NCAA Championship-winning coach with Notre Dame in 1995, Petrucelli has twice been named National Coach of the Year. In 31 years as a college coach, Petrucelli compiled a 427-182-54 record, making him the seventh most winning coach among Division I coaches and holding the seventh-highest winning percentage.

“I am thrilled to be appointed the Head Coach of the Chicago Red stars. I’m so fortunate to be taking over a team that is extremely talented and hungry for a Championship,” said Petrucelli. “Being graced with the opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world is a position any coach would jump at. I know there’s work to do. I’m excited to get started helping the team accomplish their goals while fostering an environment of joy and positivity.”

Since 2013, Petrucelli has served as a scout and training center coach for the USSF.

Petrucelli succeeds Rory Dames, who resigned following the Red Stars’ run to the NWSL Championship game last season.

Since then, Dames has been the subject of verbal, emotional and sexual abuse and harassment allegations in two separate stories from the Washington Post. In November, the Post detailed NWSL players’ experiences with Dames, while the second story was published mere weeks ago and addressed Dames’s history as a youth coach.

The Red Stars are currently in the midst of the NWSL’s preseason, with the 2022 Challenge Cup set to begin March 16.