HOF Class of 2023: Simone Charley

Two-sport star helped Vanderbilt reach new heights in soccer and track and field (2013–17)

Honored as an SEC Women’s Legend, Simone Charley was a two-sport standout who represented Vanderbilt in NCAA championships in soccer and track and field.

Beginning her Commodores career on the soccer field in 2013, Charley earned SEC All-Freshman recognition after tying for the team lead in assists. She led the Commodores in goals and assists in each of the next two seasons. As a junior, her leadership on and off the field helped first-year coach Darren Ambrose establish the foundation for future SEC championships. And in 2017, her final soccer season, she helped the Commodores upset Tennessee in the SEC Tournament and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The postseason run, which included a first-round victory against nationally-ranked Ohio State, was the team’s first tournament appearance in more than a decade.

For her efforts, which included returning from an injury that prevented her from playing in 2016, Charley was a three-time NSCAA All-Region selection. She is one of just three Commodores to receive all-region honors three times. She was also a three-time All-SEC selection in soccer, including first-team honors in 2014.

After each soccer season, Charley shifted her focus to track and field, indoor in the winter and outdoor in the spring. She was a five-time first-team All-American in the triple jump—three times indoors and twice outdoors.

In 2015, as a sophomore, she won the triple jump bronze medal at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. At the time, it was Vanderbilt’s best outdoor finish since Ryan Tolbert’s individual national championship in 1997. She also won the silver medal in triple jump in the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

“I would say one of my favorite moments as a Commodore was during the indoor season of my junior year,” Charley told VUCommodores.com in 2020. “That year the NCAA National Championships were in my hometown. We competed at the track I had grown up competing at throughout high school. So many of my friends, family and former coaches were able to come to the meet and watch me compete. It was amazing being able to celebrate making the podium with the people who made countless sacrifices for me to be there.”

A psychology major, Charley was also a three-time recipient of United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors and an Academic All-American in soccer.

Concentrating on soccer after graduation, the Hoover, Alabama, product blazed a trail for Commodores in the National Women’s Soccer League. In 2019, she became the first Vanderbilt alumna to play in the league when she took the field for the Portland Thorns. In 2021, she started 11 games to help the Thorns win the NWSL Shield as regular season champions. She also played professionally for Canberra United in Australia’s W-League and signed with the NWSL’s Orlando Pride for the 2024 season.