One of the Bruins’ most storied coaches is officially leaving Westwood.
After nine years at the helm of UCLA women’s soccer, coach Amanda Cromwell will step away from the team to explore other opportunities. Reports surfaced Monday that Cromwell was favored to become the next head coach of the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, but the club has yet to make any announcements.
"I am so thankful for spending nine fantastic years at UCLA," Cromwell said in a written statement. "The players on the field, the coaches by my side, and the administration supporting the program made this experience truly exceptional. The competitive excellence and the people at UCLA reminded me to 'make each day your masterpiece.' I have a heavy heart leaving the players and coaches, but I know the future is very bright."
Cromwell led the Bruins to their first and only NCAA championship in 2013, along with four Pac-12 titles, leaving not only a void at the top of the coaching staff, but also a legacy that will have to be replaced by her eventual successor.
Athletic Director Martin Jarmond and Associate Athletic Director of Compliance Erin Adkins will be tasked with finding Cromwell’s replacement, and Adkins has been pegged as the leader of the coaching search. UCLA Athletics has said it will conduct a national search for its next coach.
Joining UCLA in 2013 after 14 years as the coach at Central Florida, Cromwell started things off with a national championship in her first year in Westwood. Cromwell helped produce 17 professional soccer players during her time with the Bruins, five of whom competed on three national teams in the 2020 Tokyo World Cup.
Eight seasons at UCLA provided Cromwell with a 149-29-20 overall record, securing the Soccer America Coach of the Year award in 2013, and the Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor in both 2014 and 2020.
"Amanda's track record speaks for itself," Jarmond said. “With the amount of success she has had, it's no wonder that other opportunities would come her way, and this takes her one step closer to fulfilling her ultimate goals. We wish her all the best."
When asked by All Bruins how many years had been left on Cromwell's contract, a UCLA Athletics spokesperson said the department would not be discussing her now-previous contract.
As Cromwell likely joins the Orlando Pride heading into the 2022 campaign, she will grasp an opportunity to prove herself at the professional level after spending 25 years in collegiate soccer.
The UCLA women’s soccer opening has created the third head coach job to be filled by Jarmond and company in the near future, with coach Previn Chandraratna currently in the interim role for women’s rowing and UCLA men’s golf coach Derek Freeman retiring at the end of the spring campaign.
With the No. 1 2022 recruiting class, according to TopDrawerSoccer, whoever takes control of the reins could have the talent to compete from the first whistle.