When he came to The Farm in 1996, Stanford men’s soccer head coach Bobby Clark inherited a team which had produced consecutive 5-12 seasons and had not posted a winning record in four years. In his five years at Stanford, Clark has turned the program around, creating a consistent national powerhouse.
Named the Director of Soccer by Stanford Athletic Director Ted Leland in 1996, Bobby Clark oversees both the men’s and women’s programs and specifically serves as the head coach of the men’s program. In his four seasons at the helm of the Cardinal men, Clark has compiled a 53-18-11 (.713) record, bringing his 13-year career mark to 135-60-24 (.671). He has guided Stanford to the NCAA Tournament for three straight years, and his 1998 squad was the national runners-up.
In his inaugural season on The Farm in 1996, Clark led Stanford to a 10-4-4 record, the Cardinal’s first winning season since 1992, and was named the MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year. 1997 was a break-out year for the program as Stanford posted a 13-5-2 record, earned its first MPSF Mountain Division Title, its first top 10 ranking and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in five years. Following the 1997 season, Clark was named the NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year and garnered MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season.
1998 saw Clark direct the best season in the history of Stanford soccer. Not only did the Cardinal win its first NCAA Tournament match, it advanced three steps further to the NCAA Championship game, where it fell to Indiana in the title game to finish with a No. 2 national ranking. The team won a school-record 18 matches, surpassing the mark of 16 wins recorded in 1978. Following the season, senior Jamie Clark became the first Cardinal to be named an NSCAA First Team All-American.
Clark led Stanford to its third consecutive NCAA appearance in 1999, the sixth visit to the Tournament in school history. The Cardinal ended the season with a 6-5 loss in penalty kicks following a 2-2 tie with Santa Clara in the first round; yet, with a 12-4-3 overall record, it finished with double-digit victories for the fourth consecutive year.
Prior to arriving at Stanford, Clark compiled an impressive soccer background as both a coach and player. From 1994-1996, as head coach of the New Zealand National Team, he produced a 21-12-3 mark while working with the Senior, Olympic, Under-20 and Under-17 squads. For his efforts, Clark was awarded the 1995 Jim McCullen Trophy, given by the New Zealand national media to the person who did the most for New Zealand soccer.
Clark began his collegiate coaching career as the head men’s soccer coach at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire from 1985-94. In nine seasons, Clark compiled a 82-42-13 record and led the Big Green to three Ivy League titles and two NCAA quarterfinal appearances. Clark’s Dartmouth teams were ranked in the top 10 for four consecutive years, and he was twice named the NCAA Region I Coach of the Year.
Along with his international experience coaching in New Zealand, Clark also coached in Africa and in his native Scotland. In Zimbabwe, he was the Director of Coaching with the Bulawayo Highlanders in the Zimbabwean Super League for the 1983-84 season. In Scotland, Clark was the Youth Coach with Aberdeen F.C. in the Scottish Premier League. He was also one of the Scottish Football Association’s staff coaches.
Prior to coaching, Clark enjoyed a distinguished professional career in the Scottish League. From 1962-82, he made more than 800 first team appearances, 696 of which were with Aberdeen F.C. While with the Aberdeen Dons from 1965-1982, Clark won the 1970 Scottish Cup, the 1976 League Cup and the 1980 Premier League Championship. Clark, who represented Scotland at every level of professional soccer, was involved in three of Scotland’s World Cup campaigns as a player in 1970, 1974 and 1978, and contributed to the Scottish squad that advanced to the finals of the 1978 World Cup Tournament in Argentina.
In two Scottish off-seasons, Clark played professionally for the Washington Ships of the United Soccer Association (1967), and the San Antonio Thunder of the North American Soccer League (1976).
Clark and his wife, Bette, have three children; Tommy, Jennifer and Jamie. Tommy, a 1992 graduate of Dartmouth College, earned a bachelors degree in English. He was a regional All-American while playing with the Big Green, and played professional soccer in Zimbabwe and New Mexico. He and his wife, Susannah, are currently in their final year of Medical School at Dartmouth College. Jennifer, a 1994 Dartmouth graduate, served as an assistant for three years to former Stanford women’s soccer head coach Steve Swanson. She is currently the women’s soccer head coach at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. Their youngest son, Jamie, graduated from Stanford in 1999 after a pair of All-America seasons. He is currently playing professionally for the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS. The Clarks reside on the Stanford campus.
Stanford Men’s Soccer Head Coach Bobby Clark
Collegiate Career Record: 135-60-24
Record at Stanford: 53-18-11
1977-82 Youth Coach Aberdeen F.C., Scottish Premier League
1983-84 Director of Coaching Bulawayo Highlanders, Zimbabwe Super League
1985-94 Head Coach Dartmouth College
1994-96 Head Coach New Zealand National Team
1996- Head Coach Stanford University
1962-65 Queens Park in the Scottish 2nd Division
1965-82 Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League o 1970 Scottish Cup o 1976 League Cup o 1980 Premier League Champions
1967 Washington Whips, United Soccer Association
1970, ’74, ’78 Member of Scotland World Cup Squads
1976 San Antonio Thunder, North American Soccer League