After spending seven years working at Portland State—and five years as Athletic Director—Valerie Cleary leaves PSU to become the athletic director for the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC). MAC is in downtown Portland right next to Providence Park, the stadium that houses the Portland Thorns and Timbers soccer teams. MAC has a workout facility and event spaces for its 22,000 members.
During her time at Portland State, Cleary helped in the creation and remodel of the Viking Pavillion in 2018, now home to basketball and volleyball games on campus. She also hired new coaches for men’s and women’s basketball, including Jase Coburn and Chelsey Gregg—who is the first female head coach for women’s basketball. Track and field, men’s and women’s tennis and soccer were other sports where Cleary hired new head coaches. PSU women’s basketball and softball have won the Big Sky Conference championships under Cleary’s time as director.
As the new MAC athletic director, Cleary shared her gratitude for PSU Athletics on Twitter.
“Wow! What a week! My heart is full,” Cleary wrote. “Thank you @psuviks for an amazing experience. It was an honor and privilege to work with so many great people committed to the success of student-athletes. @psuviks you have a forever fan in all your endeavors.”
In 2019, PSU President Stephen Percy gave Cleary a five-year contract extension as Athletic Director, which would have lasted until 2024. Cleary started her career in 2002. She worked at Boise State until 2008, Pacific University from 2010–13, Willamette in 2015–16 and, most recently, Portland State from 2013–15. Cleary returned to PSU from 2017 to 2021. Cleary is to begin her new journey in late August at the Club’s athletic division, which includes 26 sports.
PSU is now attempting to go on a national search for a new Athletic Director to represent the university. As for Cleary, she expressed excitement with her new role.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to join the amazing team and members at the Multnomah Athletic Club,” Cleary wrote. “I look forward to making my contribution to this long standing fixture of the Portland community!”