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Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen

LSU
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen
Title
Associate AD / Strategic Advancement
Email
ackthigpen@lsu.edu
Phone
(225) 578-4496
Hometown
Manchester, Conn.
Alma Mater
LSU (2010)

A former student-athlete and coach for the LSU Gymnastics program, Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen has served since February 2021 as the associate athletics director for strategic advancement.

Thigpen oversees the education, training and programming that promotes a respectful environment, oversees department-wide professional development, and assists with legal and personnel related functions of the department.

As LSU works to promote a transformational culture, Thigpen leads the way in developing educational programming and initiatives for staff and student-athletes with a goal of also directly impacting the recruitment, hiring and retention of talent. These programs include a supplier engagement program, climate surveys and professional development.

In March 2024, Thigpen added to her job duties the oversight of the LSU spirit groups, which includes the Tiger Girls dance team, cheerleading teams and Team Mike. She also oversees the community relations efforts for the athletics department.

One of LSU’s most accomplished student-athletes, Thigpen earned her bachelor’s degree in 2008 and master’s degree in 2010. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from the Southern University Law Center in 2013 and worked as an attorney for the Louisiana House of Representatives for five years before joining the athletic department staff full time.

In addition to her work with the state, Thigpen also served as an adjunct professor at Southern University. Since 2013, Thigpen has worked in private practice in the areas of family law, contracts, personal injury and employment discrimination.

While a student-athlete, Thigpen demonstrated excellence and leadership in competition and in the classroom. She was the 2009 NCAA vault and floor champion, LSU’s first two-time champion. As a junior in 2008, Thigpen 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.

Thigpen 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 was also 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, Thigpen 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, Thigpen 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 in 2016 in downtown Baton Rouge. They have three sons, DJ, Beckham and Crew.