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Ellis steps downs as coach of under-21s, citing family illness.

Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis resigned as coach of the United States under-21 women to devote more time to her ailing mother. She will remain coach of the UCLA women.
WESTWOOD, Calif. (Tuesday, March 6, 2001) -- Jillian Ellis, who led the United States under-21 women to 2000 Nordic Cup crown, announced her resignation today as coach of the national team, citing family illness.

Ellis, in her third year with the U-21s, will remain with the team until a replacement is hired.

"For personal reasons, the foremost being my mom's battle with cancer, I am at a point where I need to prioritize my time," Ellis said. "Working with the under-21 national team has been nothing less than amazing, and for that opportunity I am eternally grateful."

Ellis will continue at UCLA, where she became the first Pac-10 coach to be named national collegiate Division I women’s "Coach of the Year" for leading the Bruins (19-4-1) to their first NCAA final four and an eventual 2-1 loss to North Carolina in the 2000 national championship match. In her two seasons, UCLA has compiled a 34-9-2 (.778) record.

Jillian Ellis
Prior to UCLA, Ellis, a 1988 alumnus of William & Mary, was coach of Illinois for two seasons following several years as an assistant at Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina State.

Ellis is the daughter of John Ellis, top assistant to full national-team coach April Heinrichs. Her brother Paul was a longtime assistant for George Mason University’s women before leaving to run the family’s soccer academy in Manassas, Va.

On August 3, the U.S. won its third Nordic Cup title in the four years, and fourth overall, with an intense 1-0 victory over Germany in the title game in Weismain, Germany. Held annually in Northern Europe, the eight-team Nordic Cup brings together the world's best under-21 women's national teams to decide a de facto world champion.

The U.S. defeated Norway in the championship game in 1997 and 1999, both on golden goals in sudden-death overtime.

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