UAB hires Jacksonville State’s Bill Clark as head coach

UAB hires Jacksonville State’s Bill Clark as head coach

Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark is leaving to become the new head coach at UAB.

UAB will announce Clark as its new head coach during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Clark replaces Garrick McGee, who resigned on Jan. 9 after two seasons to become Louisville’s offensive coordinator.

The 45-year-old Clark led the Gamecocks to an 11-4 record and an FCS quarterfinal appearance in his first season as head coach. JSU’s two playoff wins were the school’s first-ever at the Division I level, and his 11 wins were an Ohio Valley Conference record for a first-year coach.

Prior to becoming the Jacksonville State head coach, Clark was defensive coordinator at South Alabama for five seasons. The Jaguars finished second in the Sun Belt in total defense in 2012 in just their first full FBS season.

Before that, Clark built Prattville (Ala.) High School into a national power. In nine seasons, his Lions teams won two Class 6A state championships, including a No. 2 national ranking in 2007.

Clark’s Prattville teams won their last 30 games and his overall record was 107-11.

“We’re very proud for Bill and the success that he had at Jacksonville State,” Jacksonville State President Dr. Bill Meehan said in a statement. “He is a JSU grad and we are excited about his personal success and we are grateful for the success he brought to the Gamecocks this year.”

Other candidates considered for the job included former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe, current Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Atlanta Falcons assistant Chris Scelfo and South Alabama head coach Joey Jones.

Clark has a buyout of $400,000, but UAB was paid $550,000 after McGee resigned.

Photo: Trent Penny, The Anniston Star

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013