UAB coach Bill Clark, who oversaw a miraculous resurrection of the Blazers program within the last decade, announced that he is retiring on Aug. 1 due to health and well-being concerns caused by long-standing back issues that will require a spinal fusion. Clark, 53, has been the head coach of the Blazers since 2014 and posted a 49-26 record during six seasons in Birmingham, leading them to a pair of Conference USA titles in 2018 and 2020 and five straight bowl games.
Offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Bryant Vincent will assume interim coaching duties. Vincent has served as Clark’s offensive coordinator since 2018 and has been an integral part of the team’s offensive success, with records for total points, touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, total yards and rushing yards coming in his first year under Clark.
“It’s time. Knowing that doesn’t make this any easier,” wrote Clark in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “Retiring as the UAB head coach is the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make, but my future health and well-being depend on it. I have reached this decision after consultation with a number of world-class medical experts and much family discussion, reflection and prayer. Because of long-standing back issues that grew more and more debilitating in the last year, I have been told that I need a spinal infusion.”
Clark has been the rock of a program that went through massive turmoil during his tenure. Following an inspection of the university’s athletic budget and revenue, football was shuttered in December of 2014 after Clark’s first season. Instead of looking for a new job, however, Clark chose to guide the Blazers through the dark days when a subsequent decision was made to restart football in 2015. He posted an 8-5 record in UAB’s first season back from the shutdown in 2017, and the Blazers haven’t finished worse than second in the Conference USA West division since then.