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Graeme Abel named head coach at Oregon

The University of Oregon appoints Graeme Abel as Women's Soccer Head Coach

December 31, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Graeme Abel joins the University of Oregon as Head Coach after four years with the USWNT

The former U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper coach, Graeme Abel, has penned a contract with the University of Oregon women's soccer program as its new head coach.


Abel joined Jill Ellis's coaching staff on May 2015, a year into her permanent head coach appointment and two months before the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. Since then, the Liverpool native has coached world class goalkeepers in Hope Solo and Alyssa Naeher and helped the USWNT to two world cup titles. In addition, he has compiled extensive experience while working with USA's Youth National Teams and as part of the staff for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.


"Graeme is a fantastic, hard-working coach who has been an important part of our staff over the past five years, not only with the knowledge he's brought to the team, but also with his personality and ability to add to the team chemistry," said U.S. Women's National Team General Manager Kate Markgraf to


"We certainly understand and support his desire to become a head coach in one of the top women's soccer conferences in the nation and we wish him success in his new position."


This is not the first time that Abel will be working for a collegiate program. He was a staff member of the Sooners women's soccer program at the University of Oklahoma for three years before being appointed as associate head coach during the 2013 offseason.


"I have been fortunate for the past five years to work with the best team in the world and in my opinion the best coaching staff in the world," said Abel to


"My growth in this environment, both as a coach and person, has now prepared me for the next step in my coaching career. I will miss the day-to-day interaction with our players. They pushed the boundaries within the world's game and have continued to raise the bar for everyone across the world. The memories of Vancouver and Lyon were incredible and will never be forgotten."

The Oregon Ducks athletic program has been in a desperate search for a head coach since the departure of former coach Kat Mertz, who resigned in November after six years in the position amassing a 47-74-13 overall record. Oregon's athletic director Rob Mullens was delighted to announce Abel's appointment on Monday according to the Ducks' Athletics website,


"We were incredibly fortunate to be able to hire one of the top coaches in the country at any level, be it college, professional or international," Mullens said in a statement.


"Graeme's experience coaching some of the best soccer players in the world, his commitment to the student-athlete experience and his vision to elevate Oregon soccer to an elite level made him the perfect fit."


Abel will look to better the Ducks' 2019 record of 5-9-5 (1-8-2) in 2020 and possibly lead the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. It will be a difficult task with the likes of reigning National Champions Stanford, two-time NCAA champion University of Southern California and one-time NCAA champion UCLA in the PAC-12.

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