Feb. 12, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Jamie Clark, an assistant coach for the Notre Dame men's soccer team over the past two seasons, has been named head coach for the Harvard University men's soccer program. In his two seasons at Notre Dame, Clark witnessed the Fighting Irish reach new heights by making back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
"It's an incredibly exciting opportunity to coach at Harvard," said Clark. "Harvard is a top-20 program and they embrace the student values just like Notre Dame. It's great to be going to another place with such a tremendous standard of excellence and tradition."
In 2006, Clark joined the Notre Dame staff after a four-year stint in the same position at the University of New Mexico. Clark's first season with the Irish featured the team post a 15-6-2 record and advance to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history. In addition to the team accomplishments, forward Joseph Lapira received the Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy as the nation's top player. Lapira also became the first unanimous first-team All-American in program history.
Notre Dame compiled a 14-5-5 record in 2007 and shared the BIG EAST Blue Division title along with Connecticut. The Fighting Irish went 7-0-4 within the conference, which signified the only undefeated mark in the league during the season. Notre Dame was the runner-up to Connecticut during the conference tournament before advancing to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals where the Irish fell to eventual national champion Wake Forest, 1-0, in overtime.
"It's very sad to leave Notre Dame," added Clark, who is the youngest son of Irish head coach Bobby Clark. "We've had a great couple of years here and have built the program into one of the elite ones in the nation. I've worked with an incredible group of players and coaches and I'll miss them."
In Clark's two seasons at Notre Dame, the team produced four All-America and 12 all-BIG EAST selections. Four players earned academic all-district accolades, while defender Ryan Miller was named an Academic All-American in 2007. In addition, Miller and Matt Besler were tabbed as NSCAA All-Scholars this past season.
Notre Dame has had four players selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft over the last two seasons. Greg Dalby and Nate Norman were both taken in the second round of the 2007 draft, while Miller and Lapira were third-round picks during last month's 2008 SuperDraft.
"It's definitely a good news, bad news situation," stated Bobby Clark. "It's good news for Harvard and for Jamie and we'll obviously miss him. It's tough to see him leave because it's been a fun two years for me to work with him. We wish Jamie all the best."
-- ND --