JSU Announces Hire Of Bill Clark

December 19, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football, News 

Former South Alabama defensive Coordinator Bill Clark was named head coach at Jacksonville State on Tuesday, December 18 | jsugamecocksports.com

Jacksonville State University had a good list of potential head coaches to choose from to replace Jack Crow who was let go recently. They received several applications for the job, some with name recognition that made the school officials take notice immediately.

They could have picked someone from a BCS school or someone with prior collegiate head coaching experience but in the end they chose former South Alabama defensive coordinator Bill Clark. Clark will formally be announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

Clark is a 44 year old Anniston native and 1990 graduate from Jacksonville State. He may not have head coaching experience on the collegiate level, but he led Prattville High School to two state 6A championships. His last two teams won 30 consecutive games and the 2007 team was ranked #2 in the nation by the USA Today national high school poll. His winning percentage was over 90% for his tenure at Prattville.

After his final season at Prattville, he was named the Alabama High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year and the Schutt Southeast Regional Coach of the Year.

He was among the first coaches hired by South Alabama head coach Joey Jones when he was putting together his staff. He also named Clark the assistant head coach as well as defensive coordinator.

He was key in developing the South Alabama program into what it is today. In only the Jaguars fourth season of play and their first in the Sun Belt, the defense finished #2 in defense in the conference.

“I’m very happy for Bill and his family,” Jaguar head coach Joey Jones said to AL.com on Tuesday. “I appreciate what he’s done to help build this program at South Alabama. You’re always happy for someone in this profession to move up and get a job they want, so I’m very happy for him and his family. He meant a lot to me. We’re great friends and will continue to be. I think we’ll always have that in the back of our minds, of starting this program at South Alabama and how gratifying it has been to build this thing and that’s something he was a part of. I appreciate everything he’s done.”

“It means a lot,” Clark said to AL.com. “When you set some goals in life and to achieve one of those goals you set at an early age, it’s gratifying. It’s real gratifying.”

“It’s big (to have the opportunity come at JSU). I think to go back to where there are people you know and in the surrounding areas, you feel like you’re going to be representing more than yourself. You’re going to be representing people you went to school with and people you played ball with and family. That’s what it’s all about.”

“There’s so many thing that you want to bring to the table, but when you’re talking about student-athletes, you want to bring them in there and get them a degree and put a great product on the field,” he continued. “The thing we want to bring is excitement. When you start talking about what gets you coming to football games, it’s excitement.”

“Watching guys running and passing and representing their school and their town and their families, all the reasons that we got into this game and that make it so great. That’s what we want to put out there. The big thing about football is it’s the face of a school. So obviously we want to put a great image out there and a great message and hopefully you’ll see that when you see us play.”

Clark also said that his time at South Alabama has been rewarding and important to him.

“To get to come here and be the start of building a program and to see it done the right way, that’s a plus,” Clark said. “We were so supported here. Joey and I were friends before we started this and that will remain the same. To get to be with a friend to do this was special.”

“I can’t say enough of about it. That’s what I want to see where I’m going. You want to see that support. Obviously, a coaches’ job is to bring people together and bring the community together, so that’s the thing I’m looking forward to at Jacksonville.”

“We’ll head up (Tuesday). They have some things planned (Wednesday). We’ve got to get into all the talks of staffing established. It’s all going to be a whirlwind now. You know how coaches are, in the first five minutes you’ve turned the switch and you’re worried about players and recruiting and what have they been doing in the weightroom and getting my staff on board. It’s kind of like a win, that joy is real short-lived and then you’ve got to go to work. It’s real satisfying and it’s real exciting, but it’s time to go to work.”

The next thing for South Alabama and Jaguar head coach Joey Jones is to find someone to fill the defensive coordinator position on the staff and other staff position who may follow him to Jacksonville State.

It is unknown how this will affect South Alabama’s junior college commits, who are able to sign with schools beginning today. But Coach Jones has time to fill the position before National Signing Day for high school recruits in early February.

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