July 27, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White has recently announced the signing of a multi-year contract extension for men’s soccer head coach Bobby Clark. Clark is entering his sixth season at the helm of the Fighting Irish program and he has guided the team to five straight NCAA tournament appearances, including two trips to the Sweet 16.
During each of his five seasons at Notre Dame, Clark has steered the Irish to at least 12 wins per season. In 2004, a 16-win campaign marked the most wins for the Irish program since 1988. Overall, Clark has amassed a 65-27-13 mark at Notre Dame, which is his third head coaching position as he also spent nine seasons at Dartmouth and five at Stanford prior to coming to South Bend.
“I am very excited about receiving this extension,” states Clark. “I’ve had a very happy five years here at Notre Dame, but we are not where I want us to be, yet. I want to finish the job here. We are among the top teams in the country, but I want to push the bar even higher. I’m glad to have the opportunity to try and do that with this extension. I want to take us right to the top.”
Clark’s 2003 team captured the BIG EAST tournament title for just the second time in program history, while the 2004 squad won the first-ever BIG EAST regular season championship in men’s soccer at Notre Dame. Along with the team’s success, Clark has also seen his Irish student-athletes garner all-BIG EAST honors on 27 occasions and All-America accolades four times.
Not only has Clark established Notre Dame as a power in a strong soccer conference, he has also cemented the Fighting Irish among the best teams in the nation. All five of his Notre Dame teams have finished the season ranked in the top-20 nationally, including a program-best surge to No. 3 in 2003. The ’03 squad made it to the NCAA tournament’s Round of 16 after garnering the No. 5 national seed. Notre Dame was seeded fifth, again, in the 2004 tournament, which is proof of Clark’s ability to produce contending teams year in and year out.
“Bobby has done a tremendous job in placing our men’s soccer team among the very best programs in the nation. We are extremely excited to have him lead our program,” says White. “His consistency for producing highly competitive teams each year is both a testament to his innate ability as a coach and his unfailing commitment to the program. Bobby’s passion for the game coupled with his distinct gift relative to instructing our student-athletes both on and off the field is the precise reason we want him here at Notre Dame.”
His overall career record of 218-90-38 has Clark among the top coaches in the country. Clark’s impact on the Notre Dame program was felt immediately as he helped the Irish rebound from back-to-back losing seasons in 1999 and 2000. In just his first season, Clark led the Irish to a 12-7-0 mark. Clark’s Fighting Irish teams have also defeated a top-10 opponent in each of his first five seasons. In 2005, Notre Dame captured arguably the biggest win in the history of the program as the Irish knocked off No. 5 Indiana, the two-time defending NCAA champion, in the second round of the NCAA tournament en route to the second Sweet 16 appearance under Clark.