The Orlando Pride have announced the hiring of former UCLA and UCF women’s soccer head coach Amanda Cromwell as the team’s new head coach. Cromwell will be the Pride’s third-ever head coach heading into the 2022 NWSL season, succeeding Tom Sermanni and Marc Skinner. She becomes the first woman to hold the permanent position as Orlando Pride head coach and will become the second woman to coach the Pride in a match when the 2022 season begins.
“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 club press 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.”
“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 in the club’s release. “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 University of Virginia graduate made her coaching debut as an assistant at her alma mater from 1992-1994. Her first head coaching role was at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1996-1997.
In 1999, Cromwell became the head coach of the UCF Knights women’s team. Holding the position until 2012, she finished with a record of 203-83-26 with the Knights, leading the team to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in 13 seasons.
Cromwell moved to UCLA on April 12, 2013. In nine seasons with the Bruins, she led the team to three College Cups — including a 3-2 loss to Stanford in the final in Orlando’s Exploria Stadium in 2017 — and won the school’s first women’s soccer NCAA championship in 2013.
The 51-year-old coach compiled a record of 372-128-47 in 24 seasons as a college head coach. Her 372 wins rank 21st in the nation and her winning percentage is 17th. The Bruins finished the 2021 season with a record of 16-1-3, but were upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament by UC-Irvine.
The search for a new head coach started July 23 when Skinner resigned to accept the head coaching position with Manchester United. He was replaced by former University of Florida head coach Becky Burleigh, who guided the Pride through the remainder of the 2021 NWSL season. However, Burleigh took her name out of the running for the full-time position late in the season.
Cromwell takes over after a disappointing season for the Pride. Despite a strong start to the 2021 season, going unbeaten in their first seven games (4-0-3) — a franchise best start to the season — the Pride slid down the standings and finished the season in eighth out of 10 teams.
Previous Orlando Pride Coaches (All Competitions)
- Tom Sermanni (2016-2018): 25-30-14
- Marc Skinner (2019-2021): 9-23-11:
- Carl Green — temporary (2021): 0-1-0
- Becky Burleigh — Interim (2021): 3-6-3