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Why Bill Clark is walking away from the UAB football program he helped revive


Jonnyeagle
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A month ago, a man drove out to Bill Clark's home and dug a small hole near the mailbox, just big enough for a for sale sign to slide in. Up the driveway, Bill and Jennifer, who met on a blind date more than 30 years ago and have been together ever since, went through the motions every football coach and wife become familiar with: carefully pack up the valuables, clear out the personal effects, remove too many signs of life lest they turn off a prospective buyer.

But this wouldn't be like the dozens of moves that came before. This had the air of finality, coming a few weeks after Clark shocked the college football world -- and maybe even Jennifer -- when he announced he was stepping down at UAB, citing a chronic back condition that required surgery. Despite being only 53 years old and having successfully brought the football program back from the dead in 2014, fighting to rebuild it into something far better than it had ever been before, Clark said he was retiring as of Aug. 1.

Jennifer told him he'd go stir crazy without the daily grind of running a football team. He wasn't sure she was wrong. What would he do if he wasn't out on the road recruiting? What if he wasn't holed up in a dark room late at night poring over tape of practice or an upcoming opponent?

He hadn't planned for this. He'd gone out of his way to avoid this exact moment until finally he felt he had no choice.

They bought the darn house only two years ago. Besides being in a nice neighborhood less than 10 miles from the football offices downtown, it was far from perfect. They paid through the nose for a massive renovation, removing any trace of the 1960s wood-cabin vibe inside and creating the ideal setup for a future of football in the fall and summers with the grandkids. They bought a big-screen TV and comfy theater seats in the basement to watch movies together. Out back, they built an oasis around the pool, adding a state-of-the-art sound system, a lush grass yard to run around in and a nifty swingset with a slide and mini rock-climbing wall.

Clark is proud of that backyard. Leaving it will be hard.

read more:  https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34388616/why-bill-clark-walking-away-uab-football-program-helped-revive

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11 hours ago, NT80 said:

Kinda odd he is already turning his nose up at returning to UAB.  Says he accomplished everything there and turned that chapter, but may consider a P5 opening for next year if the situation was right.  Sounds like an Urban Meyer type to me.

Sounds like he hasn't left anything on the field for UAB and is finally taking care of his own health. Since he's already had P5 offers, and passed them up out of what can only be called loyalty, why throw him in with all that Urban Meyer has come to represent?

And it sounded like a hypothetical question, but why would anyone remotely qualified pass up the offer of being hfc at a P5 program, unless there are serious quality of life concerns with the types of people to be dealt with at such a program? Win or lose, stay or get fired, the money is good.

Edited by eulessismore
clarity
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18 hours ago, NT80 said:

Kinda odd he is already turning his nose up at returning to UAB.  Says he accomplished everything there and turned that chapter, but may consider a P5 opening for next year if the situation was right.  Sounds like an Urban Meyer type to me.

I read it as closure, which is perfectly normal. Not in a bad, malicious way.

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19 hours ago, NT80 said:

Kinda odd he is already turning his nose up at returning to UAB.  Says he accomplished everything there and turned that chapter, but may consider a P5 opening for next year if the situation was right.  Sounds like an Urban Meyer type to me.

He probably doesn’t want his presence lingering over the current staff and the current interim. 

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10 hours ago, eulessismore said:

Sounds like he hasn't left anything on the field for UAB and is finally taking care of his own health. Since he's already had P5 offers, and passed them up out of what can only be called loyalty, why throw him in with all that Urban Meyer has come to represent?

And it sounded like a hypothetical question, but why would anyone remotely qualified pass up the offer of being hfc at a P5 program, unless there are serious quality of life concerns with the types of people to be dealt with at such a program? Win or lose, stay or get fired, the money is good.

It came across to me in his wording/context that he would only come back as HC to a P5 job.  Like he is too good now for FCS or G5 again.  And then he said only if the situation was right, as in not total rebuild or lower end P5.  Just how it sounded to me.   

But some coaches are skiddish after what has happened to Bryan Harsin's move from Boise to Auburn. It's like the boosters and Admin turned on him in one season.

https://www.si.com/fannation/college/cfb-hq/ncaa-football/auburn-football-bryan-harsin-sec-media-days#:~:text=11%3A Auburn announced it will,coach for the 2022 season.

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Yikes. What a drama in auburn! I had no idea it had turned into such a carnival. Wow.  

Clark should take the auburn job and Harsin still has some goods in the right situation. 

GMG

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3 hours ago, Pellom said:

He probably doesn’t want his presence lingering over the current staff and the current interim. 

Nope. He commented that he was there for the coaches and would be involved but that it was their team now. 

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1 hour ago, NT80 said:
2 hours ago, NT80 said:

It came across to me in his wording/context that he would only come back as HC to a P5 job.  Like he is too good now for FCS or G5 again.  And then he said only if the situation was right, as in not total rebuild or lower end P5.  Just how it sounded to me.   

But some coaches are skiddish after what has happened to Bryan Harsin's move from Boise to Auburn. It's like the boosters and Admin turned on him in one season.

https://www.si.com/fannation/college/cfb-hq/ncaa-football/auburn-football-bryan-harsin-sec-media-days#:~:text=11%3A Auburn announced it will,coach for the 2022 season.

  Just how it sounded to me.   

But some coaches are skiddish after what has happened to Bryan Harsin's move from Boise to Auburn. It's like the boosters and Admin turned on him in one season.

https://www.si.com/fannation/college/cfb-hq/ncaa-football/auburn-football-bryan-harsin-sec-media-days#:~:text=11%3A Auburn announced it will,coach for the 2022 season.

I didn't find anything in the linked article to back up what is bolded from your quote above. Considering what UAB went through while he was there, something well  beyond a "total rebuild", why would he retire only to take a demotion or make a lateral move. And "situation is right" can be interpreted in different ways, such as the various stakeholders being on board with a hire and otherwise not already being in a toxic relationship.

Anyway, I don't really think he's some Urban Meyer clone. UAB couldn't have done much better, and he's done a lot more with less than then the coaches we've had in the same time frame. He seems like a decent and serious guy.

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1 hour ago, eulessismore said:

I didn't find anything in the linked article to back up what is bolded from your quote above. Considering what UAB went through while he was there, something well  beyond a "total rebuild", why would he retire only to take a demotion or make a lateral move. And "situation is right" can be interpreted in different ways, such as the various stakeholders being on board with a hire and otherwise not already being in a toxic relationship.

Anyway, I don't really think he's some Urban Meyer clone. UAB couldn't have done much better, and he's done a lot more with less than then the coaches we've had in the same time frame. He seems like a decent and serious guy.

It just takes a little reading.  The context was offers from P5s in the past.  He has always moved up in program status.  Said he did what he needed to do at UAB, not going back.  

"He says he had big-time Power 5 offers in the past -- including some interest from Auburn in 2020 that he cut off before the offer stage -- but he wasn't ready to leave UAB. Now that he has turned the page and will have some time off to reflect on what he wants over the next few months, he's open-minded.

Given the right alignment with a school president and athletic director, and the right commitment in terms of resources, maybe."

 

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4 minutes ago, NT80 said:

It just takes a little reading.  The context was offers from P5s in the past.  He has always moved up in program status.  Said he did what he needed to do at UAB, not going back.  

"He says he had big-time Power 5 offers in the past -- including some interest from Auburn in 2020 that he cut off before the offer stage -- but he wasn't ready to leave UAB. Now that he has turned the page and will have some time off to reflect on what he wants over the next few months, he's open-minded.

Given the right alignment with a school president and athletic director, and the right commitment in terms of resources, maybe."

 

i've read all of that over and over, and still feel like your OP was a reach.

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