On July 30, 2012 Claire Lessinger joined the Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC) as the Sales and Events Manager. In October of 2015, Claire was promoted to the Director of Special Events. The TBSC is a private, non-profit, 501c3, charitable corporation that serves the entire Tampa Bay area as the lead organization for bidding on and hosting premiere sports and entertainment events.
Lessinger and the TBSC are responsible for helping increase visitor room nights by identifying, bidding on, and ultimately hosting sporting events in Tampa Bay. Most recently Tampa Bay played host the 2015 NCAA Women’s Final Four where Lessinger was the Tournament Manager for the Tampa Bay Local Organizing Committee (TBLOC). As the event’s point guard, Lessinger served as the key liaison to the NCAA staff and managed day-to-day operations for the TBLOC.
In addition to daily operations, Lessinger was instrumental in the evolution of two successful pilot legacy programs; “Beyond the Baseline” (BTB), which focused on gathering and empowering local women of influence, and “For Student-Athletes, by Student-Athletes” (FSABSA), which focused on engaging non-participating student-athletes and providing a unique professional development opportunity. As a result, over 350 local women of influence participated in the BTB program and 120 student-athletes gained professional development opportunities through FSABSA. Most recently, Lessinger served on the Tama Bay Local Organizing Committee for the 2015 NACWAA Convention (National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators) and is also an active member of the National Association of Professional Women as well as USF’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy (WLP), and Positive Coaching Alliance’s Champions Club.
Lessinger came to the TBSC from the University of South Florida (USF) where she spent eight years as the head volleyball coach (2004-2012) and seven as the assistant volleyball coach (1996-2003). As head coach, Lessinger helped transform the program into a BIG EAST Conference Championship contender, earning conference tournament appearances in each of her last four seasons, including a third place finish in 2007 and 2009. While coaching, Lessinger was very active in the volleyball community; she served as the President and Vice President of the BIG EAST Coaches Association and Chair of the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) All-Region Committee. Lessinger was also a member of the AVCA All American Committee in 2011.
Prior to her coaching career at USF, Lessinger spent five years as a collegiate volleyball player at the University of Florida (UF) where she won five SEC Championships and participated in five NCAA Tournaments and three NCAA National Championships. In honor of her relentless effort, hard work and dedication as a player, the UF volleyball program established the "Claire Roach Defensive Award," which is still presented annually to the best defensive player on the team.
Lessinger was inducted into Clearwater Central Catholic High School’s Hall of Fame inaugural class on May 5, 2001. She was named the Tampa Tribune’s 1992 High School Athlete of the Year and the 1993 High School Female Athlete of the Year. She graduated from UF in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sports science with a concentration in sports management. Claire and her husband, Mike reside in Tampa with their two sons Tyler (7) and Tanner (4).