Rory Dames resigned as head coach of the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, one day after the team lost 2-1 in the NWSL Championship to the Washington Spirit.
“For 11 years, I have dedicated myself to help build the Chicago Red Stars into one of the top international clubs. Effective (Sunday), I’m refocusing my attention to my family and future endeavors, and I am resigning as coach of the Chicago Red Stars,” Dames said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Chicago Red Stars organization, the fans, and the players who I have had the opportunity to work within their professional soccer careers. I look forward to watching the Chicago Red Stars and the NWSL continue to grow and evolve while supporting their players.”
Dames coached Chicago since 2011 when he became the third coach in franchise history after Omid Namazi (2010) and Emma Hayes (2009-10). Dames led the Red Stars to the postseason six times, with each season ending in the semifinals from 2015-18. In 2019, Dames led Chicago to the NWSL championship for the first time where they lost to the North Carolina Courage. Chicago then lost to the Houston Dynamo in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.
Dames is the third Chicago sports coach to leave his position this year, but the first to do so on his own accord. Raphael Wicky (Fire) and Jeremy Colliton (Blackhawks) were each fired in September and November, respectively. The Fire have reportedly selected Ezra Hendrickson as their next coach, while Derek King remains in an interim role until the Blackhawks begin their search in earnest at the end of the season.
The Red Stars said they have already begun their search for their next head coach.