Joe Cleary was named head coach of the Wayne State College women's soccer program on March 7, 2017, becoming the ninth head coach in program history.
Cleary spent two years as an assistant coach with the Wildcats before taking the head coaching position. In his two years as an assistant, he helped WSC make a six-win improvement and the schools' second winning season in the last 11 years.
In 2016, Cleary helped coach the Wildcats to a 9-6-3 overall record and 6-6-3 mark in the NSIC. The nine overall wins were the most at WSC since 2006 and the six conference wins were the most since the 2005 campaign.
In his first season with the Wildcat program, Wayne State was 4-11-3 and 4-10-1 in the NSIC. The team allowed 10 fewer goals and the team's goals against average dropped from 2.39 to 1.83 in one season under Cleary.
Prior to arriving at Wayne State, Cleary spent the 2014 season as a graduate assistant coach with the University of Mary women's program helping the Marauders to a 6-8-4 record overall and 5-7-3 mark in the NSIC.
Cleary worked the 2013 season as an assistant coach for the Concordia (Minn.) College men's program, was a volunteer assistant coach in 2012 for the University of Wyoming women and worked as an assistant with the University of Mary men in the 2011 season.
Serving as a high school coach since 2008, Cleary was an assistant for the West Fargo High boys in 2008, Bismarck High School boys (2009-11), Bismarck High School girls (2010), Century High girls (2013) and head coach for two seasons (2014-15) for the St. Mary's Central High School girls team. His 2015 team at St. Mary's Central recorded a fourth place finish at the North Dakota State Tournament.
Cleary has also served as a club coach since 2007 with the Dakota United Soccer Club and worked as the Select Program Director for the Tri-City Storm Soccer Club in Fargo, North Dakota. He has also been involved with the Dakota and Wyoming Soccer Olympic Development Programs and has served on several soccer camp staffs, including Regis University, University of Denver, University of Wyoming, University of Colorado, North Dakota State University, Rushmore Soccer and Steamboat Soccer Academy.
Cleary obtained his bachelor degree in athletic training from the University of Mary in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in human performance. Joe is a certified athletic trainer and earned his USSF "C" license in 2013. Cleary resides in Wayne.