BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham-Southern Athletic Director Joe Dean Jr., promoted Emily Pitek Clifford to Head Women's Soccer Coach on Tuesday. Pitek Clifford takes over for Benji Walton, who left after six seasons for a coaching position at Indiana University.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Birmingham-Southern Women's Soccer program," Pitek Clifford said. "Over the last three years, working here has solidified my admiration for this institution, Division III athletics and our team. I am looking forward to building upon the rich tradition that this program has seen throughout the past 17 years."
"We are very fortunate to have someone of Emily's abilities and certainly knowledge of our women's soccer program take over the leadership role," Dean said. "Emily has been a major part of the success of our program the past three years, and will make the transition very easy for both our current and incoming student-athletes."
Pitek Clifford spent the last three seasons as Assistant Coach, helping the Panthers to 2012 Southern Athletic Association Tri-Championship and a SCAC Semifinal appearance in 2011. Since arriving in 2010, the Panthers have posted a 33-18-3 overall record and a 17-7-1 in conference play.
"The amount of gratitude I have for former Head Coach Benji Walton is unrivaled," Pitek Clifford aded. "He has been a great mentor and friend for me and I wish him the best in his new role at Indiana University. He has left this program on the rise, and I intend to continue those winning ways. I am also extremely thankful for the support of our Athletic Director, Joe Dean Jr., and his confidence in me to take over at the helm. I believe that this program still has a great deal to accomplish and I look forward to working with our outstanding student-athletes in helping them achieve all of their goals both academically and athletically."
Before BSC, Pitek Clifford served in the same role at a rival SAA institution, Sewanee: The University of the South. While with the Tigers, she helped the squad to a fifth place finish in 2008, only to better that and finish second in league play in 2009; they finished the year ranked eighth in the South region.
Prior to coaching, Pitek Clifford, a Buffalo, N.Y., native, was a four-year starter for the University of Alabama from 2003-2006. Pitek Clifford served as team captain her junior and senior seasons (2005, 2006) for the Tide. In 2004, she was awarded with the Most Valuable Defender award for the team and the inaugural Crimson Tide School Spirit Award in 2005.
Prior to graduating from Alabama with a B.A. in English, Pitek Clifford served time coaching numerous teams in Tuscaloosa. She spent two years as head coach of the Tuscaloosa County High School's girls varsity program (2007, 2008), the head coach of the West Alabama Soccer Association U12 girls team (2007), and has also coached for the Alabama Parks and Recreation Association (2007).