‘Hardest decision I’ve ever had to make’: UAB head football coach Bill Clark retiring

UAB Coach Clark says back problems forcing him to retire
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:39 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 8:26 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Update from Clark’s family: He is “glad to have surgery behind me. Thankful for all the prayers, well wishes, texts and calls.”

UAB head football coach Bill Clark, in a surprise announcement, said he is retiring.

In a post on Twitter, Clark called it the “hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.” He said his future health and well-being depend on it.

Clark said after consulting with medical experts he was told he needs a spinal fusion because of long-standing back issues. that go back to when he was squatting in high school in 1983. He said he has exhausted all options and due to the extreme physical demands of coaching, it is clear to him retirement is the best option.

“It’s unreal, this is family to me, my players, my coaches, my city. That’s how we built this thing together,” said Clark.

Clark said he will have surgery in July, with his downtime being six month. He has not left the door closed to coaching again, saying he hopes to be ok by December.

Clark, who turns 54 next week, steps aside after guiding the Blazers to a 49-26 record in six seasons, along with leading UAB to two Conference USA Championships and the first two bowl game victories in program history.

Clark also led the Blazers to their triumphant return to the playing field in 2017. UAB finished 8-5 in its first year back and has been bowl eligible all six seasons under his direction.

Bill Clark will officially retire on August 1, 2022. Bryant Vincent will serve as the interim head coach.

In his statement Clark said he is stepping down, but not walking away.

Coach spoke with the media Friday morning, June 24, 2022.

In 2018, Coach Clark was named the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year for leading UAB to an 11-3 overall record, the program’s first Conference USA Championship and bowl game victory in school history.

His accolades also include:

  • 2017 Conference USA Coach of the Year
  • 2017 and 2018 CBS Sports National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year
  • 2018 and 2020 Conference USA Champions (first two in program history)
  • 2018 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Champions (first bowl victory in program history)
  • C-USA record three-straight West Division titles (2018-2020)
  • 2021 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Champions
  • 31-28 victory over No. 13 BYU – Highest ranked victory in program history
  • 60-30 overall record as a Division I Head Coach

Clark Year-by-Year Record at UAB:

  • 2014: 6-6
  • 2017: 8-5
  • 2018: 11-3 (C-USA Champions)
  • 2019: 9-5
  • 2020: 6-3 (C-USA Champions)
  • 2021: 9-4


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