PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Thorns on Monday announced that Mike Norris will lead the team as head coach.

Norris was an assistant coach for the 2022 season and helped the Thorns win their third National Women’s Soccer League championship.

“We are excited to have Mike move into our head coach position,” said Thorns FC General Manager Karina LeBlanc. “During his time with the club, he has exhibited an ability to connect with the players by not only helping them develop as athletes, but also grow as people. Mike is an asset to the Thorns, and we look forward to him leading us in this new direction. We believe he is the right person to help us continue to improve and capitalize on our previous success.”

Before coming to Portland, Norris spent eight years with Canada Soccer.

This announcement follows Rhian Wilkinson stepping down as head coach after it was revealed she had a relationship with a player. In her lone season, Wilkinson led the Thorns to their third NWSL title in club history.

According to the release from the team announcing Wilkinson’s resignation, those investigations, which concluded following the 2022 season, “cleared [Wilkinson] of any wrongdoing.”

When announcing Norris’ addition to her staff last January, Wilkinson described Norris as well-respected.

“He is hard-working, diligent and thorough in his planning, a strong on-field coach with a deep understanding of the game and a great person away from the field,” Wilkinson said.

Norris will be the Thorns’ fifth head coach as they enter their 11th season.