Southwest Tennessee Community College is adding women’s soccer to its athletic program, beginning in fall 2017. Collierville native Brandon VanCleave, a former standout at Christian Brothers University and the University of the Ozarks, has been named as the program’s head coach, Southwest athletic director Sherman Greer has announced. The team will compete as a Division III member of the NJCAA during its inaugural season and has plans to move to Division I by the 2018-19 season.
"We are very excited about the addition of women’s soccer and to have Coach VanCleave lead the team”, said Greer. "His experience, enthusiasm, and connection to the local community made him a solid choice”. VanCleave has already signed 8 student-athletes and expects to field a team of approximately 20 before entering play this fall. The move is in response to direct requests from the community and a desire to enhance the college’s appeal and reach to an ever growing more diverse population.
VanCleave comes to Southwest after serving as assistant women’s soccer coach at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kansas. "I’m extremely excited and honored to be named head coach and feel so blessed that this opportunity brings me back to my hometown,” said VanCleave. "Women’s soccer is and has always been big here and continues to grow each year. There are just a ton of talented soccer players in the mid-south and this is another opportunity for them to attend college locally. I’m humbled that president Dr. Tracy D. Hall and the AD have entrusted me with this awesome responsibility."
He previously coached at Limestone College, a NCAA Division II school in South Carolina, where he was the women’s assistant/goalkeeper coach. During his time at Limestone, he helped lead the Saints to a runner-up regular season Conference Carolinas finish, a tournament championship, and a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. Prior to Limestone, VanCleave was the assistant men’s coach at (NCAA Division III) University of the Ozarks and has also coached club soccer for the Germantown Legends and Purple Rain.
As a player, VanCleave was a three-year starter at the University of the Ozarks, leading them to a 43-15-4 record and a regular season championship. A three-time all-conference player, he led his team to the playoffs three times and was voted to the American Southwest Conference All-Tournament team in 2007 and 2009. He ranks among the program’s top 10 in points, goals and assists. In addition, VanCleave played one season at (NCAA Division II) Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
VanCleave received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of the Ozarks in 2010. In addition, he owns a USSF National "D” License, NSCAA National Diploma, NSCAA Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma, and the Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma.