On December 18, news broke that Bill Clark had become the new head football coach at Jacksonville State University, the 13th in the program’s history.
On November 30, former coach Jack Crowe was fired even with two years still remaining on his current contract.
The initial news was surprising, but Gamecock fans seemed to warm up to the idea, soon looking back at the moderate success Crowe brought in his long tenure, but nothing special besides the Ole Miss upset.
Hurting Crowe worst of all was only three playoff appearances and zero playoff wins.
Just over two weeks later, Athletics Director Warren Koegel announced the hiring of Bill Clark.
Clark comes from South Alabama as the defensive coordinator, but his roots are very deep here in Jacksonville. Clark graduated from JSU in 1990.
After quick stops early at Piedmont, Tuscaloosa, Coffee County and Dothan High, Clark became the head coach at Prattville High in 1999. Clark made a name for himself over his next nine years at Prattville, building one of the top programs in the country that was at one point ranked second nationally by USA Today.
Clark posted an astonishing 107-11 record at Prattville, a winning percentage of 90 percent.
His final two squads went 30-0, winning back-toback 6A state championship titles before Clark left in 2008.
Coach Clark moved to the college ranks in 2008, having last lost a regular season game early in the 2002 season, leaving a 55 game regular season game winning streak.
Clark became the defensive coordinator at South Alabama as the FCS program was transitioning to FBS, where it is now a
full-time member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Last season, Clark’s defense ranked second in the SBC in total defense.
Koegel believes coach Clark can take JSU to the next level.
“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. 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,” said Koegel.
“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.”