Jamie Clark was announced as the sixth head coach in the storied history of Creighton men’s soccer on June 13, 2010, coming to Omaha after a highly successful two-year run at Harvard. He is just the third Bluejay head coach since the program was restarted in 1990.
“It is a great honor to take over the Creighton men’s soccer program,” said Clark upon his hiring. “It is one of the premier places for soccer in the college game. More importantly, it’s a university that gives its student-athletes the ultimate college experience, focusing on developing all facets of their lives. I’m proud to be a part of this university. What makes this program special is its importance to the school and community. We have a responsibility to be a team that people are proud of. I am looking forward to this challenge.”
Creighton will serve as the second head coaching job for Clark, who started his head coaching career with immediate success at Harvard, posting a 26-10-1 (.716) overall record during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, leading the Crimson to the NCAA Tournament in both campaigns. His teams were 10-3-1 (.750) in the Ivy League during his two seasons and an impressive 14-2-0 (.875) home record in that span. His overall and Ivy League winning percentage are both tops in the 101-year-history of Harvard men’s soccer.
In 2009 Clark was named the NSCAA Northeast Region Coach of the Year after guiding the Crimson to a 14-4-1 record and the Ivy League Championship with a 5-1-1 league mark. He took a team which was not ranked in the preseason top-25 and moved it into the top-10 for seven weeks during the regular-season, peaking at sixth and finishing the season ranked ninth. The Crimson earned the 10th-seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the third round of the event for the first time since 1987.
Harvard swept the Ivy League postseason awards in 2009, with Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Finalist and NSCAA First-Team All-American Andre Akpan earning Player of the Year honors and Brian Rogers earning Rookie of the Year accolades. In his first season as a head coach, he led the Crimson to a 12-6-0 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008. In 2009, Harvard ranked 20th in the NCAA with a 0.77 goals against average and 34th in scoring offense (1.68 goals per game) after the 2008 team had ranked 12th in the nation, scoring 2.0 goals per game.
Prior to his two-year stint at Harvard, he was an assistant coach at Notre Dame for two seasons, working under his father, head coach Bobby Clark. The Fighting Irish reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons on the sidelines, compiling a 29-11-7 (.691) overall record and 15-3-4 (.727) mark in the Big East. While at Notre Dame, he helped develop some of the best players in the nation, including 2006 MAC Hermann Trophy winner and Soccer America Player of the Year, Joseph Lapira. A pair of Irish players were also named to the NSCAA Scholar All-America Team during his run in South Bend, Ind.
In just the past four seasons, Clark has worked with seven players who have been selected in the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, including Akpan and Kwaku Nyamekye in the 2010 draft. The pair of Harvard players were the only two Ivy League players selected in this year’s draft and the fifth and sixth players chosen from Harvard in the history of the draft. Three of the six players drafted from Harvard all-time played under Clark.
Before his time at Notre Dame, Clark was an assistant coach at New Mexico for four seasons (2002-05). Working under head coach Jeremy Fishbein, Clark helped the UNM program reach new heights of success, including the 2005 NCAA National Championship match. Four players were drafted into MLS while Clark was at UNM, including current Bluejay assistant Jeff Rowland. Three of the four teams Clark worked with at UNM advanced to the NCAA Tournament and the Lobos posted a 61-16-8 (.765) record in his four seasons in Albuquerque, after the Lobos had gone 34-40-4 in the four seasons prior to his arrival.
Not only has Clark worked under two highly successful soccer minds in his father at Notre Dame and Fishbein at New Mexico, he has continued to surround himself with high caliber assistant coaches early in his career. Carl Junot was an assistant under Clark at Harvard and an assistant along with him at UNM and is now the head coach at Harvard. Clark’s first staff at Creighton has an impressive soccer pedigree. Including himself, every full-time staffer was an NSCAA All-American, played in the NCAA College Cup and was drafted into MLS, while both full-time assistant coaches were National Player of the Year candidates, including two-time winner Johnny Torres.
“Jamie Clark is one of the great young soccer minds in the country,” said Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen. “He is passionate and extremely intelligent about college soccer and has high character. Jamie is a great recruiter and has an outstanding relationship with his players. We look forward to a long and successful coaching career for Jamie at Creighton.”
Clark is a 1999 Stanford graduate, where he was a two-time All-American and played for his father from 1996-98. As a senior in 1998, he became the first NSCAA First-Team All-American in the history of Cardinal soccer, following his second-team honor as a junior. His 1998 team not only captured the first NCAA Tournament win in program history, but the Cardinal also advanced to the College Cup final, finishing as national runners-up. He attended and played soccer at North Carolina as a freshman.
Following his collegiate career, Clark played two seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS after he was taken in the second round of the draft as the 21st overall pick by the club – becoming the first student-athlete in Stanford history drafted into MLS.
Clark, 33, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and grew up in Hanover, N.H.