2015 VSN GIRLS SOCCER COACH OF THE YEAR
Josh Clemmer – Bel Air High School
The 2015 soccer season was one for the ages for the Bel Air High School girls soccer team, as the Bobcats navigated a difficult schedule to complete a perfect 19-0 season, capped by victory on penalty kicks over Frederick County’s Linganore High School, in the 3A state championship game.
The coach who guided Bel Air on this amazing journey is Josh Clemmer, a soft spoken, yet competitive, science teacher. Having just completed his 9th year with the Bobcats, Clemmer is the 2015 Varsity Sports Network Girls Soccer Coach of the Year.
According to Clemmer, Bel Air has been building towards a season like this for some time.
“We have been very confident that we were capable of winning a state championship these last few years, but I would never anticipate accomplishing that with a record of 19-0,” said Clemmer. “Our schedule is very difficult and soccer can be such a fickle game. We expect to win every night, but realistically, the ball doesn’t always bounce your way. This was a special group of girls who dominated in their finest games and found ways to win in games when they did not play their best.”
Clemmer is a native of Pennsylvania who matriculated to Maryland after college.
“I played for what is now known as Harleysville Football Club in youth soccer and for Souderton Area High School in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. I did not play in college, but spent time playing in the Maryland Majors when I moved to Maryland. I coached with a few youth teams in my younger years and broke into coaching high school as an assistant at Conestoga Valley High School in Pennsylvania.”
Clemmer, who is 99-40-8 in his career at Bel Air, served as an assistant to Bill Zimmerman for two years before assuming the head coaching position when his mentor retired.
“My first dedicated experience to coaching at CVHS was with Bob Scotten, who gave me a great opportunity to be introduced to the girls’ game. This gave me the confidence to step into the girls’ program when I began my teaching career and there was a coaching position available at Bel Air High School. When I started at Bel Air, Bill Zimmerman was the head coach and was an amazing mentor who helped me learn how to build a varsity team as the pinnacle of a dedicated soccer program and how to work with the girls to achieve success.
“Coach Zimmerman had been at BAHS all but the very first year of the girls’ soccer program and was instrumental to me accepting the head coaching position and devoting myself to the program. I know that he didn’t want to retire from coaching until he thought the girls’ soccer program was in good hands and I have always tried to make sure that I was doing my best to fulfill those expectations.”
According to Clemmer, the 2015 Bobcats had a combination of the most important ingredients to championship success.
“I have found that there are two types of individuals who contribute most to the success of a soccer team: highly skilled young players and strong senior leaders. This year we had both of these on the team, which was the perfect combination to achieve success,” said Clemmer. “We had a very skilled core group of freshmen and sophomores who contributed significantly to our team, but we also had mature, dedicated seniors who helped everyone feel confident and fit into the roles required for our team to perform well.”
When asked what he will remember most about the 2015 season 25 years from now, Clemmer’s focus went to the final game.
“Obviously, a state championship game that ends in PKs will live on forever in the memories of everyone on the field that day. The anticipation and excitement of that single, controlled moment cannot be replicated,” said Clemmer. “In addition, I’ll remember the personality of this team. They were a very close group of athletes who were dedicated every day to the success of the team, but never forgot how to have fun and love playing soccer.”