Ashley Clegg wears many hats: Jasper County Middle School teacher, middle school boys soccer coach, high school junior varsity boys soccer coach, varsity boys soccer coach and cross country coach. During the spring soccer season, Clegg balances coaching three soccer teams with parenting her two kids — Carson Clark, a high school freshman on the boys varsity soccer team, and four-year-old Tanner Clegg.
Tanner tags along to most of the teams’ games, as Clegg’s husband, Jeremy Clegg, travels across the Southeast during the work week. To balance coaching, teaching and parenting each week, Clegg relies on the support of her community around her, her time management skills and the desire to provide players with opportunities like those that soccer provided her. Clegg played soccer at Young Harris College, then the University of Tennessee at Martin before finishing her degree at the University of Georgia.
Clegg founded Jasper County Middle School’s soccer programs four years ago, with the hope of providing more soccer opportunities for younger students. Clegg also said she and her assistant coach, Karen Hays, are currently the only two female coaches of boys soccer teams in their region and of the teams that they’ve faced so far this season. Coming from a family of strong women, Clegg said she wants her daughter to grow up seeing that what she does should not be defined by limits anyone places on her.
Cassidy Hettesheimer is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. This story was produced during the annual Woodall Weekend Workshop in 2023.
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