For Immediate Release: February 29, 2008
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU elevates women's soccer assistant McClellan to head position

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Binghamton University has elevated assistant women's soccer coach Sarah McClellan to head coach, the school announced Friday. After two years as BU's top assistant, McClellan takes over for Jeff Leightman, who resigned to accept a position at San Jose State.

"We're very excited to have someone with Sarah's background and expertise leading our women's soccer program," director of athletics Joel Thirer said. "She has a wonderful rapport with our current team and has demonstrated strong recruiting and coaching techniques. Sarah is a passionate coach and I know she will bring great pride and dedication to our program and University."

At Binghamton, McClellan was responsible for on-field coaching, coordinating team practices, scouting, recruiting and overseeing student-athlete academic progress. Her commitment to academic achievement was visible in the Bearcats earning national distinction in 2006 and 2007 for a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to guide this program into the future," McClellan said. "Binghamton is the total package for student-athletes - from its academic reputation to its top caliber athletic facilities. This is a place where student-athletes can truly excel both on the field and in the classroom. I’m very excited to continue to work alongside this administration and staff. Dr. Thirer and Jim Norris have demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of our women’s soccer program and to our student-athletes. This program has much to achieve and many accomplishments ahead. With the work ethic, dedication, and experience of our returning players and the addition of a very talented incoming freshman class, exciting things are on the horizon."

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 semi-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 is a United States Soccer Federation national "B" licensed coach.

Binghamton advanced to the America East Championship semifinals this past fall, and finished with a 3-12-4 record.

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