ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2022) — The Orlando Pride has announced the promotion of Seb Hines to Head Coach, effective immediately, signing a multi-year contract to lead the Pride.
“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. “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.”
A former defender in the English Premier League, Hines was named the Club’s interim head coach on June 7, 2022, leading the Pride over the final 15 matches of the 2022 season. During that time, the Pride went on a seven-game unbeaten run from July 3 to Aug. 20, and saw increases in the team’s averages on shots, shot on target, and passing accuracy, as well as three total clean sheets.
Hines takes over as head coach after eight years as a member of the Orlando Pride and Orlando City family. A native of Wetherby, England, Hines first came to Orlando in 2015, playing three seasons with Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. Following his retirement, Hines began shadowing former Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni in 2018 and continued as a volunteer assistant over the next two seasons, ultimately hired as a full-time assistant under Marc Skinner in 2020.
In September, Hines earned his USSF A License, which he completed while serving as the team’s interim head coach.
At the time of his interim appointment, Hines became the first Black head coach in the NWSL and now makes history as the league’s first-ever Black full-time head coach.
“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 Club will begin working with Hines immediately to identify his assistant and support staff, which will be announced at a later date.
Additionally, the organization has announced increased investment in the Pride staff and resources, which will see an overall restructuring of the Soccer Operations department. As part of the restructuring, the team has parted ways with General Manager Ian Fleming.
“We are appreciative of the dedication Ian has shown to our organization over the last two seasons and, on behalf of the Pride, wish him the best of luck in his next chapter,” Wilf added. “The NWSL is growing at an incredible and exciting rate, and as we move forward it is important that our Club remains at the forefront of that trajectory to best position ourselves for success in the future. As an ownership group, we are dedicated to investing in Pride soccer operations more than ever before, including the evolution and hiring of new, key positions on the technical staff.”
As part of the organization’s soccer operations restructure, 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. The Club will immediately begin a search to fill the vacancy, retaining Bloom Sports, a leading sports advisory firm led by Barry McNeill and Shannon Soares, both formerly of Sportsology, to assist in the recruitment.
In addition, the Club is also committing additional resources and head count to the areas of player development, analytics, scouting, and medical services, with the hiring of these positions already underway or coming in the near future.