Casey Stoney stands with her arms crossed on during the San Diego Wave FC vs NJ/NY Gotham FC match on May 12, 2024 at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
Steven Richardson/ESD
Wave fire Casey Stoney following worst start in club history
Steven Richardson - June 24, 2024
San Diego Wave FC announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Casey Stoney - Everything San Diego

In a statement today, San Diego Wave FC announced that the club had parted ways with head coach Casey Stoney and that Paul Buckle would serve as interim head coach.

The news comes while San Diego is on a seven-game winless streak (0-2-5 WLD) and ranked ninth in the 2024 National Women's Soccer League (NSWL) Table (3-5-6), one point out of a playoff spot.

Casey Stoney has been at the club's helm since its inception, having been named the head coach on July 14, 2021. In 2022, she was named the NWSL Coach of the Year, leading San Diego to become the first-ever NWSL expansion team to reach the playoffs with a 10-6-6 record. They advanced to the semi-finals, winning their first-ever playoff game, but were eliminated in Portland. In 2023, the Wave won the NWSL Shield with an 11-7-4 record but lost in the NWSL semi-finals at home. The 2024 season started promising, winning the 2024 Challenge Cup, but the team has yet to win a match on the road (0-4-4).

On January 23, 2024, Casey Stoney and San Diego Wave FC agreed on a four-year contract extension through the 2027 season with a mutual option for 2028. Entering the 2024 season, Stoney was the longest-tenured NWSL head coach.

San Diego Wave FC President Jill Ellis said in a statement “We are immensely grateful to Casey for her commitment to our club and the positive impact she has had both on and off the pitch. Over the past seasons, Casey has guided us to significant milestones, and her contributions have been instrumental in laying a strong foundation on which to build. The decision to part ways was very hard and not made in haste, but given the ambition of this club, and where we are in our season, we felt a change was necessary at this time.”

Paul Buckle, who is stepping in as the interim head coach, is no stranger to San Diego Wave FC. He was an interim assistant coach during the 2022 season. Prior to that, he served as the Head Coach and Technical Director of Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League (USL) for three seasons (2015-17), leading the team to the playoffs each year.

The club also stated “a global search for the new permanent head coach will commence immediately.”

San Diego Wave FC’s 2024 season will continue on Friday, June 28, 2024 at Snapdragon Stadium against the Chicago Red Stars.

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