BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Bill Clark, who guided Jacksonville State to a record-setting season in 2013 and the highest NCAA Division I final ranking in school history, has been named head coach at UAB, Blazers' Director of Athletics Brian Mackin announced on Wednesday.
Clark becomes the fifth head coach in UAB history and replaces Garrick McGee who resigned his position on Jan. 9.
Clark will bring a wealth of coaching experience to the Blazers, both at the collegiate and high school levels. He has more than 20 years of experience, having spent the past year as the head coach at Jacksonville State. Prior to taking the helm of the Gamecocks' program, Clark was assistant head coach and the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. Prior to joining the Jaguars' staff, he was one of the most successful high school coaches in the state of Alabama.
"We had a tremendous amount of interest in our head football coach position, but when we looked at all of the outstanding candidates and after meeting with a number of them, we all felt that Bill Clark is absolutely the best fit for our program," Mackin said. "Coach Clark has a proven track record with success at both the collegiate and high school levels, and we feel he brings the experience to help us continue to grow our football program.
Clark led the Gamecocks to an 11-4 record last season, their most victories since the 1992 campaign when JSU won the NCAA Division II national championship. That number set an Ohio Valley Conference record and is also the most wins by a first-year head coach.
Jacksonville State earned an at-large berth in the FCS playoffs and captured two victories -- including a second round win against No. 6 McNeese State -- to reach the quarterfinals. The wins were the Gamecocks' first in the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Jacksonville State concluded the 2013 season ranked No. 10 in the final FCS poll. The Gamecocks, who ranked sixth in the nation in FCS attendance, set 49 school records in 2013 and broke 13 OVC marks, as well as three NCAA records. JSU had two players earn All-America honors last season and nine selected for All-Ohio Valley Conference accolades.
"We are excited and ready to go," Clark said of the opportunity at UAB. "There is tons of work to do and we're ready to take that on. This is not about me, it's about the team and coming together to work hard to be successful. The kids will embrace the guys (coaches) we are bringing over. We are coming here as a destination to make this program great."