KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2023) – United Soccer Coaches has announced the election of four individuals as the newest members of its Hall of Fame. All four will be inducted as members of the Class of 2024 during the 84th annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, January 10-14, in Anaheim, Calif.
Dr. Joe Machnik
Jill Ellis, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Coach; April Heinrichs, first ever female head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team; Dr. Joe Machnik, longtime servant of the game of soccer; and Lincoln Phillips, legendary Howard University men’s soccer coach, will be honored at the annual Awards Banquet on January 12, 2024. The four individuals will become the 79th, 80th, 81st, and 82nd inductees into the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, established in 1991 to honor achievement by coaches with an emphasis on success and a lifetime devotion to the association and the game.
“Congratulations to our newest members of the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame,” said Dr. David Carr, United Soccer Coaches President. “We welcome four outstanding coaches for their lifetime contributions and dedication to excellence for their players, fellow coaches and the beautiful game.”
Ellis served as the women’s head coach at the University of Illinois in 1997-98 before heading the UCLA program for 11 years (1999-2010), compiling a college coaching record of 248-63-14. While with the Bruins, she helped lead the team to the NCAA title in 2000 and was named United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) Coach of the Year in the same season. Under her leadership, UCLA reached the College Cup on eight occasions. Following her college career, Ellis served U.S. Soccer as the head coach for the women’s U-21 and U-20 teams and was appointed the Development Director for the U.S. women’s national teams in 2011.
Ellis was named head coach of the USWNT in 2014, after serving two years as the interim head coach. A year later, she led the team to the gold medal at the FIFA World Cup. She repeated that feat in 2019 and for the second time was named FIFA Coach of the Year. The winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history, Ellis led the U.S Women’s National Team to a remarkable 106-7-19 record during her tenure. In 2019, United Soccer Coaches awarded her the Women’s Soccer Award of Excellence and in 2023 she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Heinrichs had a brilliant playing career in college at the University of North Carolina including two-time National Player of the Year and then served as captain of the USWNT that captured the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. She began her coaching career with stints at Princeton University, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia, before joining the USWNT as an assistant coach in 1995. In 2000, she became first female head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team. During her five years at the helm, Heinrichs recorded an 87–17–20 record, while leading the team to a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics, a third-place finish at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and an Olympic gold medal in 2004.
Following her time as head coach, Heinrichs spent four years as Sport Performance Director with the United States Olympic Committee before returning to U.S. Soccer in 2011 as the Technical Director for the Women’s Youth National Teams. In that position, she spent eight years implementing a program where upon her retirement U.S. Soccer had a National Team for every birth year from U-14 through U-20 and full-time head coach position for each team. In 1998, Heinrichs was the first female player inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Dr. Machnik, highly regarded for his contributions to the game in the United States, became a coach at his alma mater Long Island University in 1966 leading the team to a NCAA semi-final appearance. Following his time at LIU, he coached the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the University of New Haven while also serving as the school’s athletic director. Beginning in the 1970s, Machnik was among the first coaches to focus on goalkeeping instruction through the implementation of specialized camps, books and videos.
After his time in coaching, he headed both MISL and MLS officiating groups and instructed CONCACAF referees. As a FOX Sports rules and officiating analyst, Machnik has covered both men’s and women’s international play. He has served as the long-time Director of the Walter Chyzowych Award Program and has been named to multiple Halls of Fame including Long Island University, University of New Haven Athletic, Connecticut Soccer and New England Soccer. In 2017, U.S. Soccer inducted Machnik into the National Soccer Hall of Fame (builder category) for his contributions to the game.
Phillips became the first Black professional soccer coach in U.S. history when he was named coach of the Washington Darts in 1968. In 1969 he was named the ASL’s Coach of the Year. Just one year later he took the helm as head coach of the Howard University men’s soccer team, where he led the Bison to the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship in 1974. He compiled a record of 117-19-11 at Howard including two undefeated seasons. Howard captured the 1971 Division I Championship title but it was later vacated officially by the NCAA for player eligibility issues. After leaving Howard, Phillips served as the Director of Coaching for the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association; was a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s national coaching staff; the head coach/general manager of the Maryland Bays of the ASL, and the head coach of Virginia Commonwealth University’s soccer team from 1989-94.
At the national level, Phillips served as the U.S. National Team goalkeeper coach (1992–94), a FIFA staff goalkeeper instructor (1994-05), and the technical director for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (2005-12). A member of the association since 1971, Phillips was a founder of the Black Coaches Community (formerly the Black Coaches Advocacy Group). He was inducted into the Howard University Hall of Fame in 1996, the Trinidad and Tobago Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002. He was the recipient of the 2020 Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award.
The United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to honor achievements in coaching, work on behalf of the association, and lifetime contributions to the game of soccer. Individuals are elected into the association’s Hall of Fame based on selections made through balloting of the Hall of Fame Committee. Click here for a list of previous United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame inductees.