Wayne State College Director of Athletics Mike Powicki announced Tuesday that Joe Cleary will become the next head coach of the Wildcat women’s soccer program. The move becomes effective Tuesday. Cleary is the ninth head coach in program history.
“I am very pleased to announce Coach Joe Cleary as our next head women’s soccer coach,” said Powicki. “Wildcat Women’s Soccer is a program on the rise and over the past two years Coach Cleary has been a large part of our improvement. He is truly invested in the success of our student-athletes and team. In addition to Coach Cleary’s abilities as a coach and his passion for WSC Soccer, he is also able to provide stability within a program that has not had a lot of it from its coaching staff over the past 10 years.”
Powicki added, “Our goal is to continue to develop this program into a perennial winner and in order to accomplish that there has to be consistency with your coaching staff. With the student-athletes we currently have on the team and recruiting class coming in, I believe our soccer program is in a great position and I am excited for our future.”
Cleary has spent the last two years as an assistant coach at Wayne State College and helped the Wildcats to just the second winning record in 11 years this season, going 9-6-3 overall and 6-6-3 in the NSIC. The nine overall wins for WSC this season were the most since 2006 and marked a five-win improvement from the previous season (4-11-3) while the six conference wins this season were the most for a WSC women’s soccer program since 2005.
Prior to arriving at Wayne State, Cleary served as a graduate assistant at the University of Mary in 2014 and also coached at Concordia College (Minn.) in 2013, was a volunteer assistant women’s coach at Wyoming in 2012 and assistant with the University of Mary men’s program in 2011. Cleary also has five years of high school coaching experience in North Dakota that included a fourth place finish in the North Dakota State Girls Soccer Tournament while coaching at Bismarck St. Mary’s Central in 2015.
“I would like to thank Mike Powicki for the opportunity to become head coach at Wayne State College,” remarked Cleary. “I am thankful for the support he provided both myself and the program during the coaching transition. I am excited to continue working with a great group of players as we look to build on the success from the past season.”
Cleary added, “Becoming a head coach has always been a goal of mine and to be able to achieve that goal at Wayne State is truly special to me. I believe with the continued support of our athletic department, college and community the program can continue on the path of success that we started under Coach Erickson.”
Wayne State College returns 16 student athletes to next year’s team, which includes one senior, eight juniors and seven sophomores combined with a signing class of four recruits and more signings expected.