In 2014, Michael Clark enters his 20th season as head coach of the Bridgewater football program and his 35th year as a collegiate coach. Clark is the longest tenured coach in Bridgewater College football history.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Clark is from a football family. His father Joe Clark, whom he played High School football for at Cincinnati Indian Hill, is in the Ohio High School Hall of Fame in the state where he picked up 237 high school victories.
Since 2000, the Eagles are 115-40 under Clark’s direction and have hoisted the ODAC title on five occasions and have made 16 playoff appearances. In the fall of 2009, the Eagles secured their 100th win under Clark’s direction and currently stand 127-77-1 during his tenure.
In one of college football's great turnarounds, the 12 winning seasons under Clark this century already has surpassed the five the program enjoyed in its’ previous 64 years of competition. It is a run that has included five ODAC Championships, a 36-game conference winning streak, and 16 NCAA Playoff games. The BC post-season experience peaked in 2001 where the Eagles finished their best season in school history with a 12-1 record, losing in the Stagg Bowl, the Division III national championship game, to perennial power Mount Union, 30-27.
Under Clark, Bridgewater has become far and away the most prominent ODAC school in national competition, recording 10 of the conference's 14 NCAA tournament victories and its only two final four appearances.
Clark started his coaching career as the defensive line and linebackers coach at Murray State University in 1980 and helped Frank Beamer’s Racers to 44 wins in five seasons and a stay in the Division I-AA national poll for 25 straight weeks. After a stint as wide receivers coach at his alma mater Cincinnati from 1986-87, Clark rejoined Beamer at Virginia Tech in 1988 serving as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator for five seasons. In 1993, Clark moved to Virginia Military Institute serving as the Keydets’ defensive coordinator in 1993 and quarterback coach in 1994 before being named the 14th Bridgewater head coach on January 16, 1995.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Clark earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati in English Literature and was a four-year letter winner in football as a defensive back. He helped the Bearcats to a 9-2 record and a top 20 national ranking during the 1976 season. At graduation he was given the school’s "Mr. Bearcat Award" as the outstanding graduating male senior at the University of Cincinnati in 1980.
Currently, Clark acts as the AFCA conference-coaching representative and serves on the AFCA rules advisory committee. In 2008, Clark completed a term as the Chairman of the NCAA Football Rules Committee.
Clark lives in Bridgewater with his wife Sharon. The couple has two daughters, Megan Clark Velez, a 2004 Bridgewater graduate, who completed her Masters’ of Public Health at George Washington University and works for the FDA Policy office while residing in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband JD and their children Joey and Nora. Clark’s younger daughter Erin, a mathematics graduate from Christopher Newport University, works for the United States Army as an Operations Research Analyst in Alexandria, Virginia.