Story coutesy of Jacksonville State Athletics, photo courtesy of Scott Donaldson.
JACKSONVILLE – Bill Clark has been named head football coach at Jacksonville State University, athletic director Warren Koegel announced today, and will be formally introduced during a press conference on Wednesday at 4 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Stadium Club at JSU Stadium.
Clark has more than 20 years of coaching experience and has spent the last five years as the defensive coordinator at the University of South Alabama after serving as one of the most successful high school coaches in the State of Alabama.
“Our vision and mission are winning conference championships and advancing to the postseason on a regular basis and we feel like Bill Clark brings the experience and skills to help us achieve our goals,” Koegel said. “When you look at the success that Bill has enjoyed in our state, both on the collegiate and high school levels, we feel like he is the perfect fit to be our head football coach.
Clark's defense at USA finished second in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense in 2012 as the Jaguars completed their first full season of competition in the league. South Alabama posted the best record of any Division I FCS Independent in 2011 after winning the first 17 games in the program's history in 2009 and 2010.
“I'm very excited about the opportunity to come back home and become the next football coach at Jacksonville State,” said Clark. “Jacksonville State has a great tradition and I'm looking forward to building off the past success, while also making us a national contender on the FCS level in the future.”
South Alabama allowed only 13 points per game and 254.6 yards per game in 2010 as USA went 10-0, and gave up only 5.9 points and 234 yards per game in 2009 as the defense forced 25 sacks and forced 23 turnovers in only seven games.
“Coach Clark is dedicated to the success of our student-athletes both in the classroom and on the football field,” added Koegel. “We are also proud that both Bill and his wife, Jennifer, are graduates of Jacksonville State University and it became clear during the interview process that Coach Clark has great passion for Jacksonville State University.”
Clark joined South Alabama in 2008 after spending nine years as head coach of the nationally ranked Prattville High School. He won a pair of Class 6A State Championships as his last two teams won 30 straight games, while the 2007 squad was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the USA Today's national high school poll.
Following his final season at Prattville High School, he was named the Alabama High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year and was also selected as the Schutt Southeast Regional Coach of the Year.
He first led the Lions to the state 6A playoffs in 2000, his second season guiding the program, where they lost by two points in the opening round. Clark earned his first postseason victory a year later, helping PHS advance to the quarterfinals before falling to the eventual state champion, which is where the Lions' season would end each of the next two falls.
Prattville made its first state championship game appearance under Clark in 2004, with the team allowing three touchdowns in four postseason contests leading up to the final including recording a pair of shutouts. The Lions advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2005 playoffs before dropping a two-point decision as well.
Clark posted a 107-11 (90.7%) overall record during his tenure, suffering his last regular-season loss during the second week of the 2002 season.
Clark served on the staff of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic three times, including as head coach in the summer of 2007. He also served as head coach in the 2004 North-South All-Star Game.
Following graduation from Jacksonville State in 1990 with a degree in physical education, Clark began his coaching career as an assistant at Piedmont High School and also has coaching stints at Tuscaloosa County High School, Coffee County (Ga.) High School and Dothan High School.
Gamecock fans are encouraged and welcome to attend Wednesday's press conference on the fifth floor of the stadium club to meet Clark and his family at 4 p.m. Parking will be available at the Dorm Stadium Towers and fans can enter the main front doors of the Dorm Stadium Towers, beginning at 3:30 p.m.