After a coaching career that has spanned 36 years, 31 of those at Flagler College, head men’s basketball coach Bo Clark has announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season at a press conference this afternoon in the Flagler Room.
“I have had the most incredible tenure at Flagler, but I decided that the time was right to pass the torch,” said Clark. “I love coaching and leading this team, but I am looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life.”
On Feb. 18, Flagler will hold “Bo Clark Day” with a special recognition prior to the 3:30 p.m. tip-off against the University of North Carolina at Pembroke as well as a barbeque reception in front of Flagler Gymnasium after the game. We encourage all alumni, friends and family members to join us for this special day.
“Bo Clark is a class act. He leaves an amazing legacy of success, sportsmanship, collegiality, and positive impact on student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Jud Damon. “We wish him great success and enjoyment in this next stage of his career and life. Bo Clark’s name will always be synonymous with Flagler Basketball.”
Clark entered the season with an all-time record of 481-362 and led the Saints to three consecutive trips to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament (2003-05). He is responsible for coaching teams to 79.6 percent of the program’s wins (604) since its inaugural season in 1973-74. Clark entered the year tied for 20th among all NCAA Division II active coaches in victories. He was the program’s fifth coach (1982-84) when he amassed a 30-26 record and then returned for the 1988-89 season and has been the head coach every year following.
“I have nothing but thanks and gratitude to Flagler,” said Clark. “I want to thank Chancellor Dr. William Proctor and President Dr. William T. Abare, Jr. for this tremendous opportunity. Dr. Proctor hired me in 1982 when I was only 25 years old and two years out of college. Only a handful of coaches in college basketball now get an opportunity to coach 31 years at the same institution.”
Clark’s teams have posted 20 or more wins 10 times including five years in a row, from 2000-01 to 2004-05. The Saints finished with a 23-8 overall record in 2004-05 and advanced to the NAIA sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.
Clark also coached the team as the program transitioned from the NAIA to NCAA Division II starting in the 2006-07 season.
He was named the Florida Sun Conference Coach of the Year two years in a row (2003-04 and 2004-05) and the three times overall. Clark was selected as the Independent College Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year after leading Flagler to a 20-7 record in 2007-08.
“I was blessed and fortunate enough to work for three first-class athletics directors: Dan Stewart, Dave Barnett and Jud Damon,” said Clark. “All three were great to work for and are not only great administrators, but most important are quality people who have tremendous passion for the College.
“I would also like to thank my current assistant coaches (Kyle Cregan, Al Daspin and Keith Matthews) for their undying loyalty,” Clark added. “Also, I would like to thank all of my many former assistants, especially Hugh Lewis and Yvan Kelly, and all of the student assistants and team managers.”
In the 2003-04 season, Clark coached the Saints to the most wins (26) in the history of the program and the team went on to capture its second consecutive FSC Championship. He also coached a pair of NAIA All-Americans, John Randolph (2003-04) and Carlton Summers (2005), as well as the two-time NCAA Division II assist leader, D.J. Ferguson (2010-11). Clark has coached 20 All-Florida Sun Conference players and three All-Peach Belt Conference selections as well as PBC co-Freshman of the Year Vaughn McCall in 2015-16. Five players have earned PBC Players of the Week honors which includes Chris Williams (Dec. 5) earlier this season.
“The greatest part of coaching, in my opinion, are not the wins and losses,” said Clark, “but the life-long relationships which are built and will always be there.”
Clark graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a bachelor’s degree in history and physical education in 1980. He also received his master degree from UCF. A three-time All-American for the Knights, Clark led the country in scoring with an average of 31.6 points per game in 1977. He still holds 13 scoring records at UCF and his No. 23 jersey was retired at the end of his senior year. Clark was inducted into the UCF Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1979, Bo, and his father “Torchy”, were featured in Sports Illustrated.
Clark and his wife, Nancy, reside in St. Augustine and have three adult sons, J.P., David and Matt. All three sons graduated from Flagler. Nancy teaches third grade at the Cathedral Parish School in St. Augustine. His son, J.P., coaches with the Los Angeles Clippers. David works as a financial planner for Merrill Lynch in Jacksonville, Florida. Matt, the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,434 points, is the founder of a player development program in St. Augustine.
“I am currently working on my master’s degree in sport management,” said Clark, “and I plan on continuing my Bo Clark Basketball Camps in the summer.”