End of an Era: Bo Clark moving on from Flagler basketball

Photo courtesy of Flagler College.

By Jared Talbot| gargoyle@flagler.edu

Photo courtesy of Flagler College.

Photo courtesy of Flagler College.

Coaching 31 years at the same college is no small feat. Yet for recently-retired Flagler Men’s Basketball coach Bo Clark, it was almost easy.

“Flagler is such a great institution,” Clark said. “The people here are so great and between that and the leadership of Dr. Proctor and Dr. Abare, I’ve always been happy here. Not many people get a chance to coach 31 years at the same institution and for that, I cannot be more thankful.”

On Feb. 21, Clark coached his last game as the head coach of the Flagler College Men’s Basketball team. Now almost two months removed from his final game, Coach Clark is ready for the next chapter in his life.

Clark went into his final season with a record of 481-362 and coached 10 different 20 win teams.  Upon asking Clark what made him decide it was the right time to retire, he said he just knew “it was the right time.”

“The president and I had been in contact for years regarding my decision to walk away,” Clark said. “It was something that I had planned. I am turning 60 this year and I just knew my time was up.”

With various opportunities to coach for different teams during his time coaching for the Saints, leaving was never much of a thought for Clark. It may not have been that way if he didn’t enjoy Flagler so much, but he was always happy here.

“I have had the joy of coaching for a place that I love,” he said. “Being able to be a part of the Flagler institution has been an honor and I love the faculty, the students and the people that have made my experience so enjoyable.”

Feb. 18 was named “Bo Clark Day” in his honor, and the gym was filled with over 120 of Clark’s former players including his three sons J.P, David and Matt, who all played basketball at Flagler, his wife Nancy along with other family and friends. They distributed bobble heads, T-shirts and fatheads and to and the court was dedicated as “The Clark family court.” Although the Saints lost the game 97-93, it was a successful day dedicated to a coach who has put in an incredible amount of hard work.

“I think my favorite thing about coaching is the players,” Clark said. “The players go from these young kids to young men who go on to graduate, and what I am most thankful for is the fact I have kept in regular touch with 60 to 80 of them. It’s a good feeling to know that you have made an impact on people far beyond the basketball court and the college.”

Now nearly two months removed from his final game and retired from coaching, Clark is not quite ready to fully retire. With an interest in teaching and still being involved in basketball, he is looking forward to the future.

“I would like to teach,” he said. “That is something I’ve always had an interest in doing but have never really gotten to do so. Ideally, if I could coach in sports management either here or somewhere else that would be awesome. I am still going to run my basketball camps over the summer as well.”

From playing college basketball at the University of Central Florida to coaching for 36 years, it is safe to say Clark has made his impact on the game of basketball. Now he is ready to see what else he can make an impact on.

“I am so thankful for all the players, coaches, teachers and to all the people that have made an impact on my coaching career,” he said. “I am at peace with my decision and ready to see what life brings me next.”

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