TTi Pays Tribute to Jerry Zanelli
November 26th 2018
Jerry Zanelli, the legendary women's soccer pioneer, died last Wednesday night at the age of 80 at his home in Sacramento, California.
In 1998, Zanelli founded the Women’s Premier Soccer League. He served as the league's commissioner but also coach and owner of the Sacramento-based California Storm, which won three league championships (1999, 2002, 2004). Storm alumnae include Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, Alex Morgan and Brazilian Sissi.
The WPSL provided opportunities for women outside of college and before and between women's pro leagues. It had 106 clubs in 2018.
“Jerry was a personal friend, colleague and mentor to me” Sporting Director, Lee Cullip said “in the years I have known Jerry I was able to accomplish so much as a coach and owner. His advice, counsel and anecdotes were always true, carefully crafted and honest. His candor, love and passion for women’s football is unmatched and so many have so much to thank him for. The baseline of women’s football in this country will have changed forever” Cullip finished.
Zanelli worked in California politics, beginning in the 1960s as an anti-war and civil rights activist and running assembly campaigns. He was later an executive for the California State Senate and worked as a lobbyist.
With Love, TTi.