A two-time national champion and former gymnast for LSU, Ashleigh Clare-Kearney enters her seventh season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Tigers.
Clare-Kearney received her bachelor’s degree from LSU in 2008, earned her master’s at LSU in 2010 and earned her law degree from Southern University in 2013.
A five-time First-Team All-American during her career at LSU, Clare-Kearney handles all choreography for floor and beam routines, and she assists in coaching all four events.
Clare-Kearney’s influence and work has been widely acclaimed as the LSU floor performers consistently produce big scores each season. The Tigers rank as one of the nation’s top floor exercise teams during Clare-Kearney’s tenure, and 2016 was no exception.
The squad that finished as the NCAA Runner-Up, tied the school record with four All-Americans on floor, and finished second in the nation in the final floor rankings with a 49.575 regional qualifying score. Ashleigh Gnat compiled an LSU single season record four perfect 10.0 scores, was the SEC Floor Exercise Champion, and won 10 titles on floor to tie Lloimincia Hall, Clare-Kearney and Sandra Smith for the most in school history.
LSU ranked No. 1 in the final floor national rankings with a 49.560 regional qualifying score and a season average of 49.448 in 2015. Three LSU gymnasts ranked in the national Top 25 on floor with Hall at No. 1, Gnat at No. 10 and Jessie Jordan at No. 17.
Clare-Kearney played a big role in LSU’s continued improvement across the board on all events in the 2014 season. The Tigers ended the year ranked No. 4 nationally on floor, and the team established a new school record in the event with a 49.700 versus Missouri.
In addition, Clare-Kearney coached Hall to three perfect 10.0s on floor in 2014, including Hall’s performance against Alabama that became a viral sensation and attracted national media attention during the season.
In 2013, Clare-Kearney’s efforts were widely recognized as LSU was credited with having one of the most exciting floor lineups in the country with dazzling choreography and fantastic performances. The Tigers finished the season ranked No. 5 nationally in the event.
Clare-Kearney brings a wealth of experience to LSU gymnastics as she captured the 2009 NCAA Vault and Floor national titles as well as the 2009 Southeastern Conference Floor title during her senior season. As a junior in 2008, Clare-Kearney became the second LSU gymnast to be crowned the SEC All-Around Champion, and she also took home 2008 SEC Gymnast of the Year honors after winning the all-around and floor titles.
Clare-Kearney holds the school record for the most individual titles – winning 114 titles in her career, including 37 on vault, 27 on floor and 22 in the all-around.
“She has so much to give,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “Her choreography skills and her ability to interpret music and give her interpretation to someone else is why I wanted her back. We are only getting a little piece of her because she is 100 percent committed to her professional endeavors, but she is invaluable as a coach and mentor to our ladies.”
Clare-Kearney demonstrated excellence and leadership in academics as well as competition as she was recognized as a Scholastic All-American in both 2008 and 2009, and the Manchester, Connecticut native was also a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
An active member in the local community, Clare-Kearney was twice recognized as a member of the SEC Community Service Team, and she also received the 2008 Huel D. Perkins Leadership Award at LSU.
Because of her prowess in the gym, in the classroom and in the community Clare-Kearney became the first LSU student-athlete to earn the distinction as an NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist in 2009.
The daughter of Craig Kearney and Diane Clare-Kearney, Ashleigh married DaJuan Thigpen on July 30, 2016 in downtown Baton Rouge.