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Jacksonville St. hires Bill Clark to be new coach

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Jacksonville State has hired South Alabama defensive coordinator Bill Clark as football coach.

Gamecocks athletic director Warren Koegel announced the hiring Tuesday of Clark, a 1990 Jacksonville State graduate who will be introduced at a Wednesday news conference.

Clark spent the past five seasons as South Alabama's defensive coordinator after a successful run as head coach at Prattville High School. The Jaguars ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense in 2012, the team's first full season competing in the league.

"Our vision and mission are winning conference championships and advancing to the postseason on a regular basis and we feel like Bill Clark brings the experience and skills to help us achieve our goals,'' Koegel said. "When you look at the success that Bill has enjoyed in our state, both on the collegiate and high school levels, we feel like he is the perfect fit to be our head football coach.''

Clark led Prattville to two straight Class 6A state championships and 30 consecutive wins in his final two seasons before leaving for South Alabama in 2008. Clark posted a 107-11 record in nine seasons, a 90.7-percent winning percentage, at Prattville and didn't lose a regular-season game after the second week of the 2002 season.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to come back home and become the next football coach at Jacksonville State,'' Clark said. "Jacksonville State has a great tradition and I'm looking forward to building off the past success, while also making us a national contender on the FCS level in the future.''

Clark was named the Alabama High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year and Schutt Southeast Regional Coach of the Year after his final season at Prattville.

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