Sara Kluttz has established her roots in the tapestry of Clarksville-area soccer over the span of a decade.

Kluttz was part of the APSU soccer program for five seasons before graduating with her Master’s degree in 2013. Although her career did not end the way she had hoped, the experience has helped Kluttz with her current head coaching position at Clarksville High School.

“Just to play at that level has taught me a lot,” she said. “I ended up playing five years, due to an injury. I got to sit out for a part of my [final] season, which, I absolutely hated. I wasn’t used to that but, looking back, I think that’s when I really got to see the game from a different perspective, from the sideline.

“As hard as that time was for me then, it’s helped me become a better coach in how I see the game and how I can kind of analyze it. Playing at that level has helped me establish the grit and understanding of what it takes to compete.”

While at APSU, the former midfielder and defender accumulated 40 starts and played in over 3,000 minutes for the Governors. Kluttz’ fourth and fifth seasons came to an abrupt ending, however, suffering back-to-back season-ending knee surgeries. She knows that the time spent on the sidelines allowed her to develop into the coach that she is today.

“I learned some of the hardest lessons, as a player and as a person, during that time,” Kluttz added. “From that time, I was able to see the game differently and kind of evolve from a coaching perspective. I’m grateful for it now. I don’t wish an injury on anyone, and I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but definitely trying to make the most of it now.”

Sara Kluttz heads a ball in a 2009 match against UT Martin. | APSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Sara Kluttz heads a ball in a 2009 match against UT Martin. |

Now in her second year at the helm for the Lady Wildcats, Kluttz boasts an overall record of 25-4-2, being responsible for two of the team’s nine consecutive District 13-AAA championships.

According to the coach, the program has yet to play as a complete unit this season, but hopes their previous successes aid in their state championship aspirations. Clarksville reached the first round of the Class AAA state tournament a year ago, and hopes to return to state when playing at Arlington High School on Oct. 21

“Had I graduated in four years, I’m not sure where I would have been,” Kluttz said. “I stayed to play my fifth year and do my master’s degree. From that, it kept me here an extra two years after that to finish my degree. At that time was when I started assisting at [Clarksville High School]. Had I not been injured, had I not taken my fifth year, I might not be here at all. I’m definitely grateful for that.”