Dec. 17, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two days after leading the program to its first national title Notre Dame’s Bobby Clark has been named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division I Coach of the Year.
The Fighting Irish defeated Maryland, 2-1, in Sunday’s national title game to conclude the campaign with a 17-1-6 record. After suffering its lone loss of the season on Oct. 26 to Virginia (2-0), Notre Dame went 9-0-1 and outscored opponents 25-8 during that season-ending stretch. During their five-game run in the NCAA tournament, the Irish held a 14-4 scoring advantage over their competition.
“I’m not really into coaching awards, but this is a great award to the team and to my assistant coaches; we coached just as hard last year and the year before,” Clark said. “Good players make good coaches. Obviously, I’m delighted and it’s another honor for the program and I’m the lucky recipient. This is an award given to the whole program and everyone associated with it.”
Clark also guided the Fighting Irish to a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title with a 7-1-3 league mark in their first season in the challenging conference. He was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, marking the sixth time in his career that he was named a conference coach of the year.
This is the first NSCAA national coach-of-the-year honor for Clark, who just completed his 27th season as a college head coach and his 13th at Notre Dame. He boasts a career mark of 323-132-66 (.683) and is 170-69-41 (.680) at the helm of the Fighting Irish program. The 170 victories are the most in Notre Dame history and Clark is the first Fighting Irish men’s soccer coach to be named the national coach of the year.
“Our coach (Bobby Clark) probably is the most underappreciated college soccer coach in the country in terms of the lessons he teaches you on the field and off the field,” senior All-America forward Harrison Shipp said following Sunday’s title match. “I can tell you that I’m so much a better person and player now than I was three-and-a-half years ago when I first came to Notre Dame.”