Now, Leaverton is one of 15 women that have been selected by United Soccer Coaches (formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) for its 30 Under 30 program. The 30 program participants — 15 men and 15 women — were selected from more than 300 applicants.
“I’m extremely excited and honored to have been selected to this year’s 30 Under 30 class,” Leaverton said in a statement released by St. John. “I am looking forward to all of the educational opportunities, mentoring and professional development that I will be exposed to as a member of this prestigious group.”
Launched in 2013, the 30 Under 30 Program is a year-long education and mentorship opportunity designed to support up-and-coming members of the coaching profession who are 30 years of age or younger. Each participant receives an educational scholarship that provides registrations for the United Soccer Coaches Convention and an advanced diploma course of the coach’s choosing, as well as a travel stipend to cover costs for attending these events. In addition, members of the 30 Under 30 Program are matched with a mentor dedicated to fostering their growth in the game and expanding their coaching network.
Beginning her third season with the Red Storm Women’s Soccer Team on head coach Ian Stone’s staff, Leaverton was a standout on the pitch for St. John’s from 2008-2011. According to her bio on the St. John’s website, she ranks 10th on the school’s all-time scoring list and is eighth all time in shots.
“Jen is one of the most promising young college soccer coaches in the country,” said Stone. “Being deservedly selected for, and participating in, the prestigious 30 Under 30 program will only help to enhance her rapid evolution as an elite coach due to the mentorship, licensing and other development opportunities.”
During her first year on the sideline at St. John’s, Leaverton helped guide the Red Storm to a school record 15 wins and the first Big East Regular Season title. For her efforts, Leaverton was named the 2015 NSCAA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year and shared Big East Coaching Staff of the Year honors with her colleagues.
Prior to her return to St. John’s, Leaverton spent three seasons as an assistant coach at New York University, where she was tasked with the main responsibility of recruiting. The Violets recorded winning records in two of the three years that Leaverton was on staff, including an 11-6-2 mark in 2014, a season that saw NYU reach the NCAA Division III Tournament. For their efforts in 2014, Leaverton and her colleagues were recognized as the University Athletic Association (UAA) Coaching Staff of the Year.
Leaverton holds two certifications from United Soccer Coaches: a Goalkeeping Certificate Level 1 and a National Diploma.