UAB’s Bill Clark, one of the top Group of 5 football coaches in the country, announced his retirement on Friday, just months before the start of the 2022 season.
“It’s time. Knowing that doesn’t make this any easier. Retiring as the UAB head football coach is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but my future health and well-being depend on it,” Clark wrote in his announcement.
“I have reached this difficult decision after consultation with a number of world-class medical experts and much family discussion, reflection and prayer. Because of long-standing back issues that grew more and more debilitating in the last year, I have been told I need a spinal fusion. Having undergone a previous back surgery, extensive physical therapy, shots and chiropractic therapy, I have exhausted all of my options. Due to the extreme physical demands placed on a head coach, it is clear to me. It’s time to pass the torch and try and get well.”
Clark says that his retirement will become official, at which time offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Bryant Vincent will take over as interim head coach. He has also recommended that Vincent hold on to the role for the 2022 season.
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Clark, a 53-year-old native of Anniston, Ala., has been the head coach at UAB since 2014, after one year leading the program at Jacksonville State. In that time, he saw the temporary elimination of the football program after the 2014 season, before the program was reinstated a year later, and resumed play in 2017.
He has a 49–26 record with the Blazers, leading the program to five straight bowl berths, two conference titles and three division titles during his run. In 2018, he took home the Eddie Robinson and Sporting News Coach of the Year awards.
The move also comes as UAB transitions from Conference USA to the more competitive AAC, a move he cites in his letter. That move will take place on July 1, 2023, the league confirmed earlier this month.
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