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UAB head coach Bill Clark to retire

Debilitating back issues are forcing the 53-year-old Clark into an early retirement, effective Aug. 1.

Bill Clark has announced his retirement as UAB's head coach, effective Aug. 1. Bryant Vincent has been appointed interim head coach and David Reeves will be the assistant head coach.

Clark is stepping away due to longstanding back issues requiring a spinal fusion. "Due to the extreme physical demands placed on a head coach it's clear to me. It's time to pass the torch and try to get well," he said.

A longtime Alabama high school coach, Clark stepped into the college game as South Alabama's defensive coordinator in 2008. He was named Jacksonville State's head coach in 2013, going 11-4 in one season. That led him to UAB, where he went 6-6 in 2014 before the program was shut down. 

UAB football came back from the dead in 2017 and, thanks to Clark, was stronger than ever. The Blazers went 8-5 in 2017, then won Conference USA in 2018. UAB reached the title game again in 2019, and won the conference a second time in 2020. UAB went 9-4 in 2021, what proved to be Clark's finals season.

Overall, Clark went 49-26 at UAB -- 6-6 before a self-imposed death penalty and 43-20 after it.

Clark's miraculous work will have a generational benefit for the entire university. UAB is one of six schools that will leave Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference next year. 

Here is the full statement.

Bill Clark

Vincent is UAB's offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, a post he has held on Clark's staff for four seasons. His 2018 offense set school records for total points (418), total touchdowns (53), rushing touchdowns (32), total yards (5,680) and rushing yards (2,818). Reeves is UAB's defensive coordinator; his unit finished in the top-10 nationally in total defense and third down defense in 2018, 2019 and 2020. 

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