CLEMSON — Clemson assistant athletic director Dwight Rainey said Wednesday he
hopes to have a new women's soccer coach in place by Feb. 7, which happens to
be the first day for recruits to sign a national letter of intent.
Rainey said the date isn't a deadline, but more of a hopeful target that will
help ease any concerns potential recruits may have about the program. Clemson
has been without a coach since late December when Ray Leone left the school
to take over at Arizona State.
"We've had three commitments already, and they're fine with everything,"
Rainey said. "But it would be nice to have a coach in place by signing day,
just in case there are any lingering questions in (the recruits') minds."
More than 70 applicants have inquired about the job to this point, and Rainey
said he hopes to begin the interview process next week. Rainey is chairing
the hiring committee, which also includes men's soccer coach Trevor Adair,
senior women's administrator Linda White, and faculty representative Cecil
Rainey declined to identify any of the applicants, but said there is no set
number the committee is looking to interview.
"It could be one, or it could be 10," he said.
Rainey also denied speculation that Leone and his wife Tracey — who started
the Clemson program in 1994 and was on leave of absence from the school to
help coach the U.S. National 16-under team — left Clemson in a disagreement
over the direction of the program.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said. "Everything they
discussed, from salary down to facilities, I don't think there was a problem.
If there was, I didn't know about it.
"Tracey is like my daughter, and she and Ray have been helping me with names
of potential candidates."
Ray Leone was unable to be reached for comment at ASU. His Clemson phone
number no longer is in service.