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One of the elite coaches in the Northeast with nearly a dozen years of experience at the collegiate and pre-professional levels, Sarah McClellan has built a top-notch soccer program that not only competes with class and quality on the field but produces model citizens who strive for success in every endeavor.
Her Binghamton teams have advanced to the America East tournament in four of her six years as head coach, including a championship match appearance in 2009. In crunch time during her tenure, McClellan’s teams have performed their best. In the last two regular season games during her six-years at the helm, BU owns a 71% win percentage with postseason bids on the line (8-3-1).
McClellan’s 2013 squad produced a second straight eight-win campaign to reach the postseason for the eighth time in the last 10 years. The Bearcats paved the way by going undefeated in road conference games (3-0-1) and sporting a four-game win streak. The team landed a pair of all-conference players and added another all-rookie selection.
Her 2011 squad made a strong late-season push and advanced to the America East semifinals for the sixth time. Only two (of 16) opponents scored more than one goal against the Bearcats all season.
Off the field, BU continues to generate positive headlines with volumes of community service, academic accolades and alumni achievements.
The 2013-14 squad produced a 3.42 grade-point average, including a lofty 3.46 GPA during its busy fall season. A department-high 21 players were named to the Fall Semester AD Honor Roll (min. 3.3 GPA).
In 2012-13, BU posted a 3.44 GPA - second-highest in the America East. McClellan’s team was also recognized by the NCAA with its top academic distinction. For the second straight year, the program earned an NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Award, which is reserved for teams whose multi-year APR is in the top 10 percent across the country within their sport. The Bearcats have also met the NSCAA Team Academic Award standard for 11 consecutive years (3.0 or higher GPA).
Her 2009 squad was picked to finish fifth in the America East but instead went 6-2 in league play to earn runnerup honors in a record-breaking campaign. Despite a starting lineup of seven underclassmen, BU produced its highest-ever America East win percentage and advanced to the tournament title game well ahead of schedule. The postseason appearance was the program’s sixth straight and the Bearcats reached the America East semifinals for the third straight season.
In McClellan’s first year in charge in 2008, the team more than doubled its win total from the previous year.
After serving two years as the program’s top assistant coach, McClellan was elevated to head coach in February 2008.
McClellan came to Binghamton from Drury University, where she served two years as the assistant coach. In addition, McClellan was also the head coach of the Maryland Pride in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
She is a 2003 graduate of University of Maryland, where she played under U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame member and World Cup Champion Shannon Higgins-Cirovski. The Terrapins advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice in her three seasons on the squad. After earning her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, McClellan completed her master’s degree in physical education at Drury.
Prior to her two years at Drury (2004 and 2005), McClellan was the lead assistant at Goucher College during the 2003 season. That squad went 8-7-4 and in the process, completed the second-best turnaround in the nation from the previous year.
In addition, McClellan spent four years playing in the pre-professional W-League and the WPSL. Among her post-collegiate accomplishments, McClellan garnered a national award from the WPSL in 2005, being named to the season’s WPSL All-Stars 1st Team.
A member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America since 2003, McClellan holds an NSCAA Premier diploma and a United States Soccer Federation “A” license - the highest coaching badge awarded. She is also a member of the United States Soccer Federation.
She has served as a coach and mentor for hundreds of youths in various communities throughout Maryland, Missouri and New York and has the unique distinction of coaching at all three NCAA divisional levels during her career.
One of the elite student-athletes in the program’s history, Kristie Bowers begins her fourth year as lead assistant on the coaching staff in 2014.
In 2013, Bowers’ work with the defensive unit translated into seven shutouts and a 1.06 goals against average. While she and the Bearcats were making their push toward another postseason berth, Bowers was honored by her high school, Greece Olympia. Ten years after finishing a standout three-sport scholastic career, she was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
In her first year back with the Bearcats in 2011, Bowers sparked a defensive unit that produced seven shutouts and allowed less than one goal per game. Only two opponents (out of 16) scored more than one goal against BU’s defense all season long.
While an undergraduate at Binghamton, Bowers immersed herself in every facet of campus and has an abundance of achievements and accolades both on and off the soccer field.
A four-year starting goalkeeper (2003-06), Bowers led the 2004 Bearcats to a 14-win campaign that included the program’s first Division I conference crown and subsequent NCAA berth. One year later, Bowers ranked fifth in the nation in save percentage and first in the America East in shutouts. She holds school records for career saves (383) and minutes played (6,544) and earned all-conference honors.
Bowers was equally invested as a student, earning a bachelor’s degree in human development with a minor in chemistry and concentration in biology. She made the America East Honor Roll every semester, held down a 3.35 cumulative GPA and was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society and Chi Alpha Sigma College Athlete Honors Society. Bowers also was an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee all four years, serving on the executive Leadership Committee and representing Binghamton at both the conference and NCAA levels of SAAC.
Following graduation, Bowers also continued her playing career as a goalkeeper for the Rochester Ravens (2005-06) and Rochester Rhinos (2007) of the United Soccer League’s W-League Northern Division.
Bowers pursued her master’s degree at Western Carolina University beginning in 2007. As the graduate assistant coach and goalkeeper coach for the Catamounts, Bowers helped the program capture the 2008 Southern Conference title and advance to the NCAA tournament. The team won 13 games and Bowers’ goalkeeper protege was named the conference tournament MVP.
Off the field, Bowers was a teacher in the health, physical education and recreation department and earned her master’s degree from WCU in teaching with a concentration in physical education in 2009.
Remaining in North Carolina, Bowers worked as a high school science teacher, varsity soccer coach and personal trainer and also remained active with the Region III Olympic Development Program. She has served as coach, director and goalkeeper specialist at numerous camps and club teams, including the Carolina Mountain Soccer Club, University of Rochester Soccer Camp and Cornell University Youth Soccer.
Bowers holds an NSCAA Advanced National license and a United States Federation “D” license. She also is certified in first aid, CPR, lifeguarding and as a personal trainer.