Sutcliffe Joins Sport Performance Staff

Assistant athletic director for sports psychology arrives from Stanford

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director Candice Lee has announced the addition of Julie Sutcliffe to the staff. Sutcliffe will serve as assistant athletic director for sports psychology for the Commodores, bringing more than 10 years of experience working with student-athletes at three other NCAA Division I institutions.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Julie Sutcliffe as our new assistant athletic director for sport psychology through a continuing partnership between athletics and the University Counseling Center/Student Care Network,” said Todd Weinman, director of Vanderbilt’s University Counseling Center. “Julie has a track record as a proven leader who brings a formidable combination of sport performance and clinical skills to help take our expanding program to the next level. Working closely with our talented staff members, Sydnee Collins and Marlon Bailey, Julie’s stewardship of the program will be critical in providing innovative, holistic, inclusive mental health resources for student-athletes and promoting their success both on and off the field.”
The partnership between athletics and the UCC began in 2020 and now features three mental health providers as part of the sport performance and support team. The mental health providers collaborate with existing UCC liaisons and other UCC providers as well as additional individuals within athletics including the multidisciplinary sport performance and health care teams.
For the past four years, Sutcliffe was assistant director of sports psychology in athletics and a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. In that role, her responsibilities included providing comprehensive sport psychology services for more than 900 student-athletes across all 36 Cardinal varsity teams, with duties requiring evaluation, risk assessments, performance consultations and counseling. Sutcliffe also helped design and provide team-based performance psychology interventions and consultations, assisted with mental health screening and brief consultation services during pre-participation exams, and designed and implemented educational programming for staff and student-athlete development.
From 2016-18, she was a clinical and sport psychologist at Northwestern, where she conducted psychological evaluations and provided individual and group counseling and crisis services for the school’s approximately 500 student-athletes in 19 sport programs. In addition to delivering performance enhancement interventions to student-athletes and coaches—including the football team during a stretch of making three straight postseason appearances—Sutcliffe increased the number of outreach, educational programming and performance enhancement interventions by more than 200 percent from the previous year. During that time, she also served as the team sport psychologist for the USA women’s national rugby 15s for a year and a half, traveling with the team to the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“Vanderbilt appeals to me as an institution that values people first and invests in communities,” Sutcliffe said. “I am looking forward to working with teams from diverse backgrounds and experiences to achieve their best as Commodores, and to build collaborative relationships that enhance the wellbeing and performance of Vanderbilt student-athletes and teams.”
Sutcliffe is a 2003 graduate of Vassar with a degree in psychology, adding a master’s degree in kinesiology with a specialization in sport and exercise psychology from UNC Greensboro in 2011 and a doctor of psychology degree in clinical psychology from Denver in 2015. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at Denver in 2014–15 as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern the following academic year. Sutcliffe is a licensed psychologist in three states and a certified mental performance consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.