Susan Clements, the head coach at Niagara University the past five seasons, has been named as the new head volleyball coach at Wright State University, WSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Maureen Cooper announced Tuesday.
"We are thrilled to be welcoming Susan into the Wright State family," said Cooper. "Her success as head coach at Niagara and her recruiting experience in this area made her the perfect candidate for the job."
Clements, who becomes the sixth head coach in Raider volleyball history, directed the Purple Eagles to a 25-9 record this past season and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular-season title for the second consecutive year with a mark of 17-1. Niagara also won its third straight MAAC tournament crown in 2011 and made its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament, falling to Northern Iowa.
The Purple Eagles set a school record for regular-season wins (23) in 2011 while tying the record for overall victories (25) and conference wins (17) that were set the season before.
In 2010, Clements led Niagara to a second consecutive MAAC Championship, becoming the first Purple Eagle program to win back-to-back conference tournament championships. Niagara was awarded with its second straight NCAA Tournament bid where it competed well against defending national champion Penn State, who eventually won the title for the fourth straight year.
The Purple Eagles had at least one player earn MAAC Player of the Week honors 11 times in 2010 as setter Michelle James, outside hitter Hannah Hedrick and middle blocker Amanda Wilken were named to the all-conference team. James was named MAAC Setter of the Year for the second straight season while Hedrick earned MAAC Tournament MVP honors for the second consecutive year. Both were also on the all-tourament team along with libero Sam Morgan. Niagara also had the MAAC Newcomer of the Year in right side Ellen Senf.
In 2009, Clements led the Purple Eagles to a record of 23-9, their first MAAC Championship and the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance against Michigan, who later advanced to the regional finals. She was named the MAAC Coach of the Year and the 2009 National Coach of the Year by College Volleyball Update.
In 2008, she guided the nation's youngest team (four sophomores and six freshmen) to six victories. That season saw James claimed MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year honors after breaking the single-season record for assists with 1,149.
In her first season in 2007, Clements doubled the team's previous win total and tied the then-school record for conference victories. Clements coached six players on the MAAC All-Academic Team and led Raelean Rush to First-Team All-MAAC honors.
"I am very excited to be taking the next step of my coaching career at Wright State," said Clements. "After meeting with members of the athletic department, I felt comfortable and feel that it is the right fit for me. I look forward to the challenge of getting the program in the right direction."
"I would like to thank Niagara Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin for his support to help lead us to success," added Clements. "I hope to bring that type of success and excitement to Wright State."
Niagara has excelled in the classroom under Clement's tutelage. The Purple Eagles placed eight student-athletes on the MAAC All-Academic List in 2010 and seven in 2009. The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) rewarded Niagara as one of the 92 Division I programs to earn the prestigious team academic award for the third straight season (2008-10). The team's grade-point average of 3.64 was the highest GPA amongst the 18 athletic programs at Niagara for the second straight season.
The team has been active in the community. In 2010, Clements initiated the "Leukemia & Lymphoma Awarness Night" and partned with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Western New York where they raised funds and participated in the "Light the Night Walk".
Clements came to Niagara from Georgetown College in Kentucky where she was the head coach of the Lady Tiger program in 2005 and 2006.
In 2006, the Lady Tigers finished with a 34-15 overall record and 7-3 mark in the Mid-South Conference. For the second consecutive year, the Lady Tigers won the Mid-South Tournament and Region XI titles and earned a berth into the NAIA National Championship Tournament. In the polls, the Lady Tigers finished 25th nationally.
In her first year as a head coach, Clements led Georgetown to records of 40-10 overall and 10-0 in the Mid-South. The Lady Tigers won the regular season, tournament and region titles and earned a berth into the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Georgetown finished the season ranked 10th nationally.
Under Clements' tutelage, Kara Hellmann was named a Second Team All-American for the second time in her career, Amy Schiller earned Third-Team All-American, two Lady Tigers earned all-region accolades, five earned all-conference honors and one all-academic recognition. Clements also was honored as the Mid-South Conference and AVCA Region XI Coach of the Year in 2005.
A 2002 Georgetown College graduate, Clements spent one season as assistant coach after a standout career as a Lady Tiger. During her three seasons, she was named Mid-South Conference and Region XI Player of the Year twice. Clements was also named to the NAIA's National Tournament All-Tournament team all three seasons.
Clements was Georgetown College's second female student-athlete named a NAIA First Team All-American, earning the honor as a junior and senior.
Prior to beginning her coaching career, Clements spent the summer of 2003 as a member of a professional volleyball tour which competed in five European countries. She was offered playing contracts in Switzerland and Germany.
Before taking the assistant coach's job at Georgetown, Clements coached at Nike High Performance camps and still works several elite summer camps at the University of North Carolina.
A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Clements earned a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Niagara last May.
Clements' Coaching Record
|Head Coach Record