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Veteran Division III coach with over 150 wins has announced retirement plans after final season

You could make a case that Bridgewater College (D-III - VA) is one of the most successful small college football programs on the east coast.

That's largely due to the work put in by their veteran head coach Michael Clark over the past 26 seasons, and coach Clark recently announced that this coming spring season would be his final one leading the program after over 40 years in college coaching.

Bridgewater will play a five-game schedule in the spring, and Clark will lead the team through that final dance before retiring. Offensive coordinator Scott Lemn will step in as the team's head coach after that.

Clark is the longest tenured coach the the team's history, racking up a record of 164-101-1 over that span. Back in 2001 he led the program to the Division III National Title game, where they lost a 30-27 decision to Mount Union. He's led the program to four final four appearances as well and is responsible for 10 of the league's 15 all-time victories in the Division III playoffs as well.

Coach Clark shared the following statement in the school's release:

"I am excited to lead this team through the spring campaign. Returning to the 'Victory Bell' with them in 2021 will be a challenge, but also a special reward we will chase together. There is a great football staff in the office, and the administrative support for this move is something I will always appreciate. Under Scott Lemn, the future leadership of Bridgewater football is in great hands moving forward. I will remain, 'Always an Eagle.'"

Taking over the program will be Bridgewater veteran assistant Scott Lemn, who has spent the past 11 seasons with the program and currently holds the titles of assistant head coach / quarterbacks coach / tight ends coach in addition to being the offensive play caller.

"It's a great honor to be one who follows Coach Clark. The mentorship he's provided me has been invaluable. I'm really excited for the opportunity to work in an athletic department that's devoted to winning and stands for the right things, and to do it in a place where I've been able to grow both professionally and in life," Lemn shared.

The coaching change at Bridgewater marks coaching change number five on the year at the Division III level. Track all the head coaching changes here.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.