Willamette director of athletics Valerie Cleary takes job at Portland State

Valerie Cleary
Valerie Cleary

SALEM, Ore. -- In an announcement to the Willamette University community, Edward Whipple, vice president for campus life, shared the news that Valerie Cleary has accepted the position as director of athletics for Portland State University (PSU). Cleary was offered the position by PSU President Wim Wiewel after the current director, Mark Rountree, announced his resignation last week. Cleary will begin her new duties at PSU on Jan. 1, 2017.

Cleary joined Willamette as director of intercollegiate athletics in 2015 and will serve in her current role until December 23. Whipple will work with the staff in athletics to manage operations in the interim, and plans to launch a national search for a new director early in 2017.

"It has truly been a pleasure serving Willamette University Athletics.  Since my arrival, I have been amazed by the passion and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. I thank President Stephen Thorsett and Vice President Whipple for their continued support of Bearcat Athletics and look forward to following the Bearcats in all their future success," Cleary said.

Prior to being hired by Willamette, Cleary served as senior associate athletic director and interim director of athletics at PSU. Before working at Portland State, Cleary served in the office of admission at Pacific University and in the Boise State University department of athletics.

During her tenure at Willamette, Cleary has strengthened the intercollegiate athletics program in many ways, including a thorough review of our facilities, operations and budgets. Her important work developing a strategic plan for Willamette athletics, including a Title IX review, is well underway and will continue moving forward as planned.

"Valerie's genuine enthusiasm for her job and undaunting support of our student athletes will be greatly missed at Willamette and I will personally miss cheering on the Bearcats with her," Whipple said.