The rise of the USC women's soccer program to national prominence can be tied to the efforts of head coach Jim Millinder, who now enters his 11th season with the Trojans.
During Millinder's reign at USC, he has guided the Women of Troy to a 125-65-16 (.646) record, including the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference championship and seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans reached the NCAA Second Round for the fourth time last season, finishing off the year with a 13-6-2 overall record and taking third in the Pac-10. Part of that 2005 success was due to Millinder's blue-chip class of 11 freshmen, who were tabbed as top recruiting class in the nation. Highlighted by two United States U-19 National Team players (Amy Rodriguez and Meagan Holmes) and seven other players rated in the nation's top 100 recruits. That class, coupled with experience returners, yanked the Trojan program out of a 9-9-1 season in 2004 and back into the NCAA Tournament realm, where the Women of Troy expect to remain a postseason force.
The 2003 Women of Troy finished 9-8-4 overall and tied for third place in the Pac-10 with a 5-3-1 mark. In 2002, the team went 11-8-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 5-4 record in Pac-10 play, good for a fourth-place finish.
The 2001 squad reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 10-7-2 record. USC finished fourth in the Pac-10 with a 5-3-1 mark and recorded 14 wins for the fifth straight year with a 14-6-2 record in 2000, reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 1999 squad, 14-6 overall, finished second in the Pac-10 at 7-2.
The 1998 Women of Troy made the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. That team went 14-7-1 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-10, winning its final seven conference games to earn a three-way tie for the title and the automatic bid to the NCAAs. Millinder was named the 1998 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, his second such honor in three seasons, and the Long Beach Press-Telegram's Area Coach of the Year award.
The 1997 squad went 16-3-1 (a school record for wins) and 7-2 in the Pac-10 for second place. Millinder was named 1997 West Region Coach of the Year by both NSCAA/Umbro and Soccer Buzz for his team's efforts. Midway through the season (and only 1 1/2 years into his tenure), Millinder became USC's winningest head coach with his 22nd win, surpassing former coach Karen Stanley, who had 21 wins in three seasons.
He was named 1996 Pac-10 Coach of the Year as his first USC squad went 15-5 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-10 for a fourth-place tie.
Millinder, 45, a former top professional player who has more than 20 years of coaching experience, was named USC's head coach in May of 1996.
Prior to coming to USC, Millinder guided Loyola Marymount -- like USC, a program that began in 1993 -- for two seasons (1994-95) to an 8-27-4 record (one tie was against USC), but his squads proved to be very competitive as the Lions posted wins over three top 20 teams (including No. 8 Santa Clara in 1994) and lost 15 of its matches by just one goal. The 1995 Lions won the Discoverer's Day Shootout in Hawai`i.
He was the women's head coach at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., for four seasons (1990-93), winning the California junior college state championship in 1990. His 1993 squad was the Southern California J.C. finalist, while his 1991 and 1992 teams were semifinalists. He posted a 66-8-16 mark.
He took on the additional duty of the men's head coach at El Camino for two seasons (1992-93) and guided the Warriors to the 1992 California state title. His 1993 team also made the state playoffs. He was 43-9-17.
Millinder spent the previous 12 seasons (1978-89) as an assistant coach for El Camino's men's and women's programs, which combined won six state crowns during that time. He served as the interim head coach for El Camino's 1987 state champion men's squad.
He also was the head coach for the 1992 U.S. amateur championship Ajax women's club team and the 1993 U.S. amateur titlist Cal-South men's state senior team. He was the head coach of the Cal-South Under-16 girls Olympic Development team and the Director of Coaching for the Mission Viejo Soccer Club from 1995-96. He also served on the Amateur Athletic Foundation's coaching staff for four years (1990-93). In 1994, he received his National A License from the U.S. Soccer Federation. He served as an ambassador to the U.S. soccer team at the 1994 World Cup.
He played professional soccer for eight years and competed with such legends as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johann Cruyff. He was a midfielder on the North American Soccer League's New York Cosmos (1978), Los Angeles Aztecs (1979), Tulsa Roughnecks (1980) and Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1981-82). From 1983 to 1985, he played for the Oklahoma City Slickers of the American Soccer League (he was a two-time all-star) and the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Millinder was a member of various U.S. National teams from 1978-82, and the U.S. Junior National (Under-21) team in 1976. He appeared in 25 international matches.
He earned his A.A. degree from El Camino in 1991, then a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1993 from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He starred in soccer and football at North Torrance High, then earned J.C. All-American honors at El Camino in 1977.
Millinder was born on Nov. 27, 1958. He and his wife, Carol, have two sons, Austin, 11, and Jacob, 6.