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Bobby Clark era continues

Feb 6, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Bobby Clark, who last fall led the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer program to its most wins in 24 seasons and the number-one seed in the 2012 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships, has signed a multi-year contract extension to continue as the Irish head coach.

Clark’s 12 seasons as Notre Dame head coach (2001-12) have featured 11 NCAA Championships appearances (including each of his first 10 seasons in South Bend), BIG EAST Conference Tournament titles in 2003 and 2012, to go with three BIG EAST regular-season titles (2004, 2007 and 2008).

The Irish endured back-to-back losing seasons in the two years prior to Clark’s arrival. Meanwhile, his dozen campaigns have produced a combined 153-68-35 (.666) record at Notre Dame.

“Bobby qualified as one of the most respected coaches in the country even before he came to Notre Dame, and in the decade and more that he has been with us he has ensured that our program ranks among the very best in the nation,” said Irish vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick.

“His track record both on and off the field has been exemplary, and he truly understands the student-athlete concept. We look forward to seeing him on the Notre Dame sidelines in the years to come.”

Clark, a two-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year, became Notre Dame’s all-time wins leader during the 2011 campaign. The Fighting Irish have posted a winning record every season under Clark, including double-digit win totals in 11 of his 12 seasons in South Bend. For his dedication and commitment to the Fighting Irish men’s soccer program, the Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded Clark with an honorary monogram in June 2011.

“I am thrilled to continue my association with Notre Dame. I have enjoyed a wonderful 12 years and feel that I am so lucky to carry on working in such an invigorating environment with such a terrific group of young men. This is a special place and I am very happy to be a part of it,” said Clark.

Winning has been synonymous with Clark wherever he has been. His 26-year resume has produced a glossy .676 winning percentage. Clark’s teams have posted a 306-131-60 mark during his collegiate coaching tenure. Prior to becoming Notre Dame’s fifth head coach, he had successful coaching stints at Dartmouth (1985-93) and Stanford (1996-2000).

Clark’s penchant for developing talent is evident in the fact that Notre Dame has produced 65 all-BIG EAST selections from 36 different players. In addition, he has mentored eight All-Americans with the Irish, including 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner Joseph Lapira.

The Fighting Irish have had 25 Major League Soccer (MLS) draft picks during Clark’s 12 seasons at Notre Dame. The Irish have produced 14 MLS SuperDraft picks since 2008 (that mark ranks first nationally), including first-team All-Americans Ryan Finley and Dillon Powers in 2013.

Clark’s Irish teams also have produced five Academic All-Americans, including Matt Besler, the 2008-09 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Clark’s five seasons at Stanford produced a 71-12-12 (.740) record, four NCAA Championships appearance, including a national runner-up finish in 1998. From 1994-96 he served as head coach of the New Zealand National Team. His nine years at Dartmouth featured three Ivy League crowns and two NCAA Championships quarterfinal appearances.

Prior to coaching Clark enjoyed a distinguished professional playing career with Aberdeen in his native Scotland. Born, in Glasgow, Scotland, Clark and his wife Bette are parents of Tommy (a former Dartmouth soccer star and now CEO of Grassroot Soccer), Jennifer (a former women’s soccer assistant at Stanford and Middlebury) and Jamie (a two-time All-American at Stanford and current head coach at Washington).

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