Jill Ellis directed the USWNT to its second consecutive world championship in 2019. (Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports)
Former U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis and one-time Trinidad & Tobago international and North American Soccer League all-star goalkeeper Lincoln Phillips will receive the Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award during the United Soccer Coaches convention on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Ellis recently retired as USWNT coach after directing the team to consecutive Women’s World Cup championships, most recently in France in 2019.
“I am honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award and humbled to now be included in an extraordinary list of past honorees,” Ellis said. “This award speaks to the legacy of coach Chyzowych, who dedicated his life to advancing the growth of the game and in doing so pursuing his passion. I have certainly been fortunate to have had the amazing support of my family and friends on this journey and want to sincerely thank the players and colleagues who have been instrumental in my career.”
During her USWNT tenure, Ellis forged 106-7-19 record, with the most victories in U.S. Soccer history. She will continue to work with the organization in the role of as ambassador.
Ellis. 43, lives in Palmetto Bay, Fla., a suburb of Miami with her wife Betsy Stephenson, whom she married in 2013, and their adopted daughter Lily.
“As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the passing of Walt Chyzowych,” Chyzowych Fund executive Dr. Joe Machnik said. “I can only think of how proud Walt would have been of the US Women’s Team’s results and what their performance, led most recently by Jill Ellis, has meant for the growth and development of all soccer in the United States.”
Phillips, one of the best goalkeepers during the early days of the NASL, with the Washington Darts, Baltimore Bays and Baltimore Comets, has dedicated his life and career to soccer, which has spanned more than five decades. He also coached Howard University from 1970-80.
“I am deeply honored to receive this most auspicious award,” he said. “Walt Chyzowych was a dominant force in the development of American soccer and to be so recognized brings joy to my heart. I am equally delighted sharing the spotlight with former award winners … and now Jill Ellis, a wonderful coach in every sense of the word.”
He is the author of “Goalkeeping: The Last Line of Defense: The First line of Attack” and “Call Me Coach.” From the latter, Phillips described a coach as being “a mentor, friend, disciplinarian, taskmaster, therapist and confidant.” He also described a coach who “shapes and influences the lives of others … an awesome responsibility.”
Phillips, 78, has been married to his wife Linda for 55 years and they have four sons and five grandchildren.
“Without a doubt, Lincoln Phillips’ life epitomizes the values espoused by Walt Chyzowych and is the perfect recipient of the 25th Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award,” Machnik said. “His name is synonymous with Maryland/Virginia/D.C. Area soccer having played for various Baltimore area teams even while coaching and attending classes at Howard University.”
The Walt Chyzowych Fund, a charitable fund of the United Soccer Coaches Foundation, was founded after his passing in 1994 to honor his memory and promulgate his legacy as U.S. men’s national team coach and director of coaching.
The fund helps provide coaching education scholarships and grants to aspiring young coaches and developing soccer organizations through its fund-raising efforts in partnership with the United Soccer Coaches Foundation. For additional information on the Walt Chyzowych Fund and the United Soccer Coaches Foundation and/or to donate, visit www.waltslegacy.com or www.unitedsoccercoaches.org/CoachesGIVE.
The public is invited to attend the Walt Chyzowych Award ceremony and reception at the Baltimore Convention Center, Room 314 on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m. Light refreshments and beverages will be served.