Bill Clark accomplished UAB’s goal, and the program still was shut down

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UAB’s search committee set out to find a coach who could save its football program a year ago, and let’s be honest, it found one in Bill Clark. But no matter who the search committee hired and what the new coach did, the program was going to be shut down.

That’s what AL.com reported Monday after obtaining recordings of the search committee’s proceedings. It was a futile effort to identify a quality coach — which the search committee did — given UAB President Ray Watts was already considering shutting down the program.

From the AL.com story:

The search committee members — Athletics Director Brian Mackin, Senior Associate AD Shannon Ealy, Bill Carr of CarrSports Consulting and former UAB player Izell Reese — knew the next coach had to turn things around in a hurry for the sake of the program’s future. “We knew how important it was to find the right guy, not just to win but to save UAB football,” Reese tells AL.com.

We all know the outcome: Clark led UAB to a 6-6 season, its best season in a decade, before the football program was axed in December. After the announcement, UAB wasn’t picked for a bowl game, a child sent his allowance to try to save the program, and there was this gut-wrenching video of UAB players pleading with Watts.

There’s a lot more in the AL.com article — including some really interesting stuff from the search committee on the unusually short length of Clark’s contract. And one the search committee members saying they have to “tolerate” Paul Bryant Jr. Good stuff.