Kate Markgraf was announced Monday as the first general manager in the history of the World Cup champion United States women’s national team.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the hire first confirmed it to Yahoo Sports.
In a press release, U.S. Soccer also said it has appointed Earnie Stewart as Sporting Director, a position in which he will oversee all national teams, from the USWNT to the men’s senior team to the youth teams.
Markgraf, 42, won the 1999 World Cup and two Olympic gold medals during a 12-year career as a player with the USWNT, which she represented on the international stage 201 times.
One of Markgraf’s first orders of business will be to find a successor for U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who stepped down after becoming just the second manager in soccer history, men’s or women’s, to win two World Cup titles when the U.S. defeated the Netherlands last month to repeat as champions.
“Who wouldn’t be interested in that position?” Markgraf responded when asked about the GM job last week by ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar.
The Michigan native earned a double Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in Kinesiology and Educational Psychology. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in business administration and helped the Fighting Irish win an NCAA title before becoming a standout defender with the national team.
As a coach, Markgraf was a volunteer assistant with four NCAA Division I programs: Notre Dame, Harvard, Marquette and Texas and coached club soccer in Wisconsin.
Markgraf has also worked as a television commentator for NBC and ESPN since retiring in 2010.