Claire Leatherwood joined the University of Notre Dame Athletic Department in November of 2015, serving as the Assistant Athletics Director for Policy Management. In this role, she supports the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Law and Faculty Athletics Representative Patricia Bellia, and senior associate athletics director Jill Bodensteiner. She is in her first year as sport administrator for the cross country program. She will work with both Bellia and Bodensteiner on internal and external policy matters, and will support the work of the Notre Dame Faculty Board on Athletics.
Leatherwood was a six-time varsity letterwinner as an undergrad at Yale University, where she ran with the Bulldogs’ cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field varsity teams. A 2009 graduate of Yale, Leatherwood went on to graduate from Notre Dame Law School in May 2012. During her last two years of law school, she served as a volunteer coach with the Fighting Irish cross country and track and field teams.
Leatherwood started at William & Mary in June 2012 as Assistant Director of Compliance. In this role, she provided detailed analysis and interpretations of organizational bylaws and complex regulatory schemes. She also ensured compliance with all NCAA and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) bylaws, guidelines and rules through close monitoring of activities and education of all staff members and student-athletes. She worked directly in all aspects of recruiting including official visits, certification of academic and athletic eligibility, financial aid application and disbursement, and student-athlete employment, among others. Leatherwood assisted in the Academic Progress Rate (APR), Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and all other NCAA required data submissions, in addition to administering camps and clinics legislation and questions and approvals.
She was promoted in September 2013 to Director of Compliance, where she served as senior compliance officer, supervising all compliance staff and reporting directly to the Associate A.D. for Student Services. Leatherwood served as the point of contact, managed relationships with, and developed process and policy innovations between the athletic student services and compliance offices with campus partners including the Faculty Athletic Representative (and Athletic Oversight Committee), the University Financial Aid Office, the University Bursar’s office, University Registrar Office, and the Admissions Office. She managed all aspects of prospective student-athlete admissions and financial aid decisions. Leatherwood was responsible for all data gathering and report generation for all NCAA and CAA reporting, including APR, GSR and IPP related reports. She managed all violation submissions and waiver and appeal requests. She supervised Financial Aid processes including Grant-In-Aid renewal and processing. Leatherwood administered student-athlete admission processes including distribution and use of referrals. She was innovative in several policy areas, including spearheading efforts among several internal and external offices to change the housing and meal plan posting procedures, improving efficiency of the SAOF process, transforming the grant-in-aid renewal process, and enhancing educational programing for constituents. Leatherwood served as sport supervisor for the cross country and track and field teams, and was a member of senior-staff level hiring committees.
When Leatherwood left William & Mary in October 2015, she had assumed the role of Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance, where she served as senior compliance officer, supervising all compliance staff and reporting directly to the Associate Athletic Director for Student Services. She was responsible for ensuring William & Mary’s compliance with all NCAA, CAA and institutional rules and policies through strategic initiatives, rules education, system development, monitoring, enforcement, and legislative analysis for every NCAA bylaw and area. She worked directly with the Faculty Athletic Representative, Athletic Policy Advisory Committee, and other campus departments to create and improve athletic department and cross-campus policies to ensure optimal outcomes for all stakeholders. Leatherwood directed institutional adoption of the ARMS software package. She created and executed comprehensive plans to ensure institutional atmosphere of compliance. Leatherwood was a member of senior administration leadership team, which set strategic direction for the athletic department. She was tasked with creating educational programming for student-athletes, coaching staffs, and other department constituents. Leatherwood supervised day-to-day operations of the Compliance Department, including investigation of and filing for all self-reported violations. She remained sport supervisor for the cross country and track and field teams, and was a member of senior-staff level hiring committees.
Leatherwood is originally from Ashville, Ohio, and has two younger sisters who both played collegiate tennis. She is married to Pat Slebonick, who was a football student-athlete at the University of Virginia in his undergraduate years. He graduated from the College of William & Mary Law School, and is the new executive director of the Studebaker Museum in South Bend. The couple lives in South Bend with their dog, Toby.