Seb Hines is officially the head coach of Orlando Pride moving forward. The club announced the promotion of Hines on Friday with a multi-year deal.
Hines took over the club midseason and spent 15 games as interim head coach. During that time the team went on a seven-game undefeated streak and remained in the playoff conversation though they were never able establish themselves in a playoff position. With a 3-7-5 record under Hines, the team earned a "spoiler" storyline down the stretch of the season, which was a turnaround in team narrative for a club dealing with several coaches under various investigations during the 2022 season.
The team was previously in the midst of a rebuild with former head coach Amanda Cromwell who was hired in December 2021 but after allegations of retaliation by Cromwell and first assistant coach Sam Greene, the two wereafter a recommendation from the NWSL and NWSLPA joint investigation team.
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"Seb is a talented coach that has demonstrated great leadership and an ability to get the most out of his players, while also establishing an inclusive and competitive team culture. He stepped into a difficult position this year, handling it with professionalism and brought about many positive changes both on and off the field for our Club," Orlando Pride Chairman Mark Wilf said in a club statement.
"After evaluating what we want the future for the Pride to be, listening to player feedback, and discussing with Seb, it became very clear that he has earned the opportunity to continue leading our Club. We are very excited to see what he can keep building with a full offseason and preseason ahead of the 2023 campaign. Seb has been an incredibly dedicated and passionate member of our organization and we are thrilled to have him as the next head coach for the Orlando Pride."
Hines has been with the Orlando organization for nearly a decade and previously played for Orlando City SC in 2015. He shifted to NWSL as a volunteer assistant in 2018, under then-head coach Tom Sermanni before being hired as a full-time assistant in 2020. In September 2022, Hines earned his USSF A License, which he completed while serving as the team's interim head coach. Hines became the first Black head coach in NWSL history when he took over the interim job in June and on Friday that deal became permanent.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity and look forward to leading the Pride ahead of the 2023 NWSL season. Orlando is a diverse and dynamic city, and I'm excited to build a team identity that reflects the values of our club and our community—a team that Pride fans can be proud of," Hines said.
"It's an inspiring time to be a part of this organization. We're creating a competitive environment where players feel heard and supported to succeed. Our ownership group is deeply committed to building a world-class, winning culture, and I'm thrilled to work alongside them to make it a reality."
The promotion of Hines to head coach is the first step for the club as they also announced restructuring within the club as part of increased investment in Pride staff and resources. In the Hines announcement, the team revealed they have parted ways with General Manager Ian Fleming.
The club highlighted that the General Manager position will expand to become Vice President and General Manager of Soccer Operations, with the role reporting directly to ownership and overseeing all elements of technical operations, including Hines and the support staff.