Local Roundup: Ex-Big Green Soccer Coach Bobby Clark Retires

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

South Bend, Ind. — Bobby Clark, the former Scotland national team goalkeeper who brought Dartmouth College men’s soccer to some of its most significant moments in the 1980s and 1990s, announced his retirement from college soccer coaching on Tuesday evening.

Clark, the head coach at Notre Dame for the past 17 years, confirmed his decision with his Fighting Irish team nine days after its ouster from the NCAA tournament’s second round, according to a school news release. It caps a 31-year coaching career for Clark, who made his name in Scottish professional football at Aberdeen and whose playing career included two stints in the United States before moving his family here to become a college coach.

Clark’s sideline career began at Dartmouth in 1985. He led the Big Green to a pair of NCAA quarterfinals appearances in 1990 and 1992 before leaving the Big Green in 1993 to coach the New Zealand national team. When that didn’t work out to his satisfaction, Clark returned stateside for a five-year stint at Stanford before moving over to Notre Dame in 2001. He guided the Fighting Irish to an NCAA championship in 2013.

“This has been possibly the hardest decision I have had to make in my time at Notre Dame,” Clark said in the news release. “I have loved my time at this university and, although I have kept postponing retirement, with my 73rd birthday coming up next year, I felt it was time to be in a position to spend quality time with Bette, my wife of almost 50 years, my children and, importantly, my seven grandchildren.

“I have always looked at my team as extended family, so the players will be greatly missed. If I stretch my collegiate coaching career back to when I began at Dartmouth back in 1985, then I really do have a lot of extended family.”

That family includes a number of men’s soccer coaches. The list includes current Dartmouth mentor Chad Riley (a former Notre Dame player), Georgetown’s Brian Wiese (a one-time Big Green goalkeeper), Wesleyan’s Geoff Wheeler (a captain on Clark’s next-to-last Dartmouth team) and Clark’s youngest son, Jamie, a Hanover High graduate and the current head coach at Washington.

Clark owns a 369-156-80 mark as a college coach, including an 82-42-13 record with the Big Green. His 1998 Stanford team was NCAA runner-up.

In addition to his storied playing career at Aberdeen and Scotland, where he was a backup keeper on the country’s 1978 World Cup squad in Argentina, Clark also suited up on North American Soccer League teams in Washington in 1967 and San Antonio in 1976. Locally, Clark was integral in the founding of Upper Valley Lightning, a regional youth soccer organization now known as Lightning Soccer Club.

— Greg Fennell

Omsberg SemifinalistFor Hermann Trophy

Kansas City, Mo. — Dartmouth senior defender Wyatt Omsberg was named one of 15 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy as the top college men’s soccer player in the country on Tuesday.

The MAC Hermann Trophy, the most coveted individual honor in NCAA Division I soccer, has been awarded annually since 1967. The United Soccer Coaches organization did the voting that led to the naming of Tuesday’s 15 male and female semifinalists.

The field will be reduced to three finalists for each gender on Dec. 8. The winners will be announced at the Hermann Trophy banquet in St. Louis on Jan. 5.

Omsberg reached the NCAA tournament in all four of his Dartmouth seasons. He had four goals and one assist this fall for the Big Green and led a defense that allowed only 12 goals during a 12-3-2 campaign.


Two Are All-New England

Hanover — Dartmouth placed offensive lineman Matt Kaskey and linebacker Jack Traynor on the New England Football Writers Association’s all-New England team on Tuesday.

Kaskey, an all-Ivy League first-team selection, started all 10 games of Dartmouth’s 8-2 season at left tackle. With Kaskey’s help, the Big Green ranked in the top half of the Ivies in scoring, rushing, passing and total yards.

Also a first-team all-Ivy selection, Traynor started every game for the Big Green and ranked second in the league with 98 tackles. Traynor had at least five tackles in every Dartmouth contest this season.