Dr. Leigh SearsAssociate Professor of Kinesiology
Leigh Sears started at Hope in 2000 as the head women’s soccer coach and professor of kinesiology. After completing her Ph.D. in 2007, Leigh was promoted to associate professor.
Over 13 seasons, Leigh has become Hope's winningest women's soccer coach. She has guided the Flying Dutch to two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships and appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
In 13 seasons, Sears has compiled a 143-94-16 record.
Areas of Expertise
Leigh’s dissertation was about body image and over-exercise in female athletes involved in team sports in the Midwest. She has also published on the body image of those involved in individual sports. Leigh’s current research interest remains body image and the female athlete, and how it affects eating as well as exercise habits.
- Ph.D., exercise science, Ohio State University, 2007
- M.S., exercise science, Ithaca College, 1997
- B.A., physical education and health education K-12, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991
- Five Favorite Practices of Hope College Women's Soccer Coaching Staff, Transitioning from Offense to Defense, Soccer Journal 50(7), 2005
- Body Image and Behavior in NCAA Division III Female Athletes Involved in Team Sports in the Midwest, 2007
- Body Image and Behavior in NCAA Division III Female Athletes Involved in Team Sports in the Midwest, Body Image Journal, 5 (1) 2008
- Self-esteem, body image internalization and disordered eating in female athletes, Athletic Training and Sports Health Care, 2012