BLOOMSBURG-- Bloomsburg University athletic director Mary Gardner has announced the hiring of Bill Cleary as head coach of the women's basketball team.
Cleary comes to Bloomsburg after spending five seasons as head coach of the women's team at Wilmington University in New Castle, De. At Wilmington he helped turnaround the Wildcats program from a two-win team into a 20-win team with a record the last four seasons of 54-60. This past year Wilmington finished 22-9 and was ranked in the NCAA Northeast Regional poll for the first time in school history ending the season with a ninth-place ranking. Cleary also helped the Wildcats to the school's first ever women's basketball championship when the team won the ECAC Division II title with a victory over Caldwell College. Wilmington finished the year winning nine of its last 10 games. Overall in Cleary's five seasons as head coach, the Wildcats made three trips to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoffs and reached the semi-finals in 2007-08.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach here at Bloomsburg," said Cleary. "The Huskies have a great reputation around the region and I am looking forward to the chance to restore the winning tradition in women's basketball."
"Our first goal will be to reach .500 and qualify for a spot in the conference playoffs," Cleary continued. "There is a solid nucleus of players returning, but everyone will start with a clean slate."
"I want to thank the administration at Wilmington for giving me the chance five years ago to be a head coach," said Cleary. "I'll miss all the friends I made, but look forward to developing new relationships with everyone in the Bloomsburg area. I can't wait to get started."
Bloomsburg Athletic Director Mary Gardner feels Cleary, who was chosen from a pool of over 100 applicants, will do an outstanding job.
"Bill did a great job at Wilmington and I feel will do an excellent job here at Bloomsburg in rebuilding our women's basketball program," said Gardner. "He is a solid recruiter and knows what it takes to transform a team into winners."
Prior to taking over at Wilmington Cleary spent one season as an assistant coach with the Towson (MD) University men's basketball team and two-years as a graduate assistant at the Georgia Tech where he earned a Master's Degree in Sports Administration. He was also an assistant men's basketball coach at Beaver College in Glenside, Pa.
Cleary is a 1998 graduate of Villanova University with a degree in Political Science. He and his wife Jackie are expecting their first child in September.