Just weeks after her team got upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it appears Amanda Cromwell may be moving on from the college game.
The Orlando Pride are preparing to hire the UCLA women's soccer coach for the same position, multiple sources told The Equalizer's Jeff Kassouf on Monday night. Under Cromwell's guidance, the Bruins finished the regular season undefeated en route to their second-straight Pac-12 title this fall, only to lose to unseeded UC Irvine in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Nov. 12.
A UCLA Athletics spokesperson told All Bruins that the university did not have any news to share regarding the report. The Pride provided Equalizer Soccer with the following statement:
“We are in the process of determining the best head coaching candidate to lead the Orlando Pride. We look forward to making that announcement at the appropriate time.”
Cromwell signed a multi-year extension to remain at UCLA back in 2014, but the team has not publicly announced any updates to her contract since.
Orlando has been without a full-time coach since midseason this year, with Marc Skinner leaving for the Manchester United Women's job in July. Former Florida coach Becky Burleigh was the interim coach, but the club announced prior to the season finale that she would not be returning full-time in 2022.
The Pride also parted ways with Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Amanda Duffy on Monday, which The Athletic's Steph Yang reported was part of an organizational restructuring set in motion by Zygi and Mark Wilf, who became owners of the club in July 2021.
A potential move to the pro level introduces not only a change of scenery, but also a unique predicament for Cromwell, who was one of the founding investors for NWSL expansion team Angel City FC. The team will make its debut in 2022, with the expansion draft taking place on Dec. 16, but Cromwell could be coaching for another team in the same league at that point.
Cromwell has been the head coach at UCLA since 2013, and she won a national championship in her first season. In the seven seasons since, the Bruins have not quite reached that same pinnacle, but they only missed the tournament once under Cromwell.
Across her eight seasons at the helm, Cromwell lead UCLA to a 149-29-20 record, good for the second-most wins and third-best winning percentage in program history.
Cromwell first came to Westwood after making 11 NCAA tournaments and racking up 203 wins in 14 years at Central Florida. BJ Snow coached the Bruins in 2011 and 2012 before leaving to coach the United States U17 Women's National Team, but Jill Ellis was the woman in charge from 1999 to 2010, tallying 229 wins before becoming the head coach of the United State Women's National Team in 2011.
This marks just the second time there will be a head coaching vacancy at UCLA since Athletic Director Martin Jarmond took over in July 2020.
The first opened up in July when Amy Fuller Kearney stepped away as UCLA women's rowing's head coach and transitioned to becoming a senior advisor for UCLA Athletics. Former associate head coach Previn Chandraratna is now the interim coach for UCLA rowing.
It seemed like the second opening could be UCLA men's golf, as Derek Freeman announced on November 1 that he would be retiring at the end of this upcoming spring season. But with Cromwell's departure effective immediately, the women's soccer job becomes the next one Jarmond will have to fill.
Cromwell is like Freeman in the sense that they both led their programs to their first and only NCAA championships, Freeman doing so in 2008 and Cromwell in 2013.