At no time did he say, “I guess I have to say it: I’m not going to be the UAB coach.”
Jacksonville State fans might be a little irked at their former football coach, as he is leaving after only one season to coach the Blazers. They might feel a tad duped when a week ago Clark called a report saying he had accepted the UAB job “false, totally false.”
Keep this in mind, JSU fans: This is big-boy football. Coaches leave for jobs they believe will move their careers forward. That’s what Bill Clark is doing. It’s business, not personal.
It would’ve been nice if Clark could’ve been happy with coaching football at his alma mater until he was ready to retire (or JSU was ready to retire him). But it was clear from the start he wasn’t that kind of coach. If he had been satisfied with a good job in a good community, he never would’ve left Prattville High to take a chance as South Alabama’s defensive coordinator.
And he wasn’t untruthful last week when he said the report he had taken the UAB job was “false.” At the time, he hadn’t interviewed with the school, much less accepted the position.
Clark didn’t do like Tommy Tuberville in 1998 when he flatly denied he was leaving Ole Miss at the same time his agent was negotiating for him to take over at Auburn. And Clark didn’t say he wasn’t going to the school pursuing him, as then-Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban did Dec. 21, 2006 – about two weeks before he took over at Alabama.
Clark moved up. And if he succeeds at UAB, he’ll move again. He’s a good coach with a bright future. JSU is an FCS school that was paying him $175,000 a year, while UAB is an FBS school that was paying its former coach $500,000. Clark’s next job after that will be in a bigger league and pay him even more.
Consider this, also, JSU fans: If Bill Clark had stopped winning with the Gamecocks, his alma mater would’ve put his head on the chopping block without a bit of regard for what job he had passed up to stay.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at email@example.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.