WAYNE – A year removed from qualifying for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament, Joe Cleary of the Wildcat women’s soccer program is resigning from his position as head coach.
According to a release from the Wayne State Athletics Department, Cleary spent six years with the Wildcat program, serving the last four as head coach where he compiled records of 14-29-11 overall and 13-24-8 in Northern Sun Conference games.
Director of Athletics, Mike Powicki said: “I sincerely want to thank coach Cleary for his work and leadership of our women’s soccer program these past few years. He’s a coach and person who truly cares about the well-being and success of our student-athletes as individuals and collectively as a team. Our women’s soccer program has continued to improve in so many ways during Joe’s tenure as our head coach. I wish him the absolute best in whatever his future holds for him.”
In Cleary’s most recent season with the Wildcats in 2019, Wayne State qualified for the NSIC Tourney for the first time since the 2006 season posting records of 6-9-4 overall and 6-7-2 in league play. Cleary coached the Wildcats to marks of 4-12-1 in 2018 and 4-8-6 in the 2017 campaign in his other seasons leading the WSC program (2020 season canceled due to COVID-19).
Under Cleary’s leadership the Wildcat program reached new heights in the classroom, earning four Academic All-American honors in last two seasons, while the team has collected six consecutive United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Awards. WSC had the fourth-best team grade point average in the 2018-19 season (3.67) and was 12th in the 2019-20 campaign with a 3.69 team grade point average.
Coach Cleary said: “I want to thank Athletic Director Mike Powicki and President Dr. Marysz Rames for the opportunity to lead the WSC soccer program. Thank you to our current assistant coach Chris McNaughton and former assistant Alex Piekarski and all our former student assistants for their work and support. I also want to thank the Wayne State College and Wayne community for their support of myself and our program.”
Cleary added: “most importantly, I want to thank the players – past and present – for their unwavering support and belief in the program, in the school and in myself as their head coach. They are what has made and will continue to make this program a success. I am very proud of what they have achieved and what they will continue to achieve on the field, in the classroom and in life.”
Powicki added that Wayne State College will immediately begin evaluating the next steps for hiring a new head women’s soccer coach at Wayne State College.