Orlando Pride tab UCLA’s Amanda Cromwell as next head coach


The Orlando Pride have hired Amanda Cromwell as their next head coach, the club announced Tuesday.

The news was first reported by The Equalizer in late November.

Cromwell joins the Pride from UCLA, where she led the Bruins for the past nine years. During her tenure, the team won the 2013 national championship – her first season at the helm – and made three College Cup appearances.

“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, in a release. “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.”

Cromwell has spent 25 years in the collegiate ranks, compiling a 356-126-44 record. She coached 20 Bruins players to NWSL Draft selection, including Orlando Pride 2021 First Round pick Viviana Villacorta.

“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.”

The 51-year-old is no stranger to Orlando, having spent 14 seasons as head coach at the University of Central Florida. While there, she led the team to 11 NCAA tournament appearances as well as four Atlantic Sun Tournament championships and four conference USA regular-season titles.

This will be the first NWSL coaching job for Cromwell, who is the first coach to make the jump from the college to the NWSL since Randy Waldrum, who joined the Houston Dash in 2014 from Notre Dame.

She’s just the third head coach in Pride history after Tom Sermanni and Marc Skinner. Skinner departed the club in July to replace Casey Stoney at Manchester United.

In addition to her decorated coaching career, Cromwell was also a decorated player. She earned 55 caps with the USWNT in the ‘90s, winning a bronze medal at the 1995 Women’s World Cup and serving as an alternate for the 1996 Olympic gold medal team.

In taking the position with the Pride, Cromwell will now divest her stake in Angel City FC.