Blogs and Commentary

posted 02.04.2012 at 2.13 p.m. by Jac Coyne

Davenport's Clarkson to Resign at the Conclusion of the 2012 Campaign

After starting the program five years ago, posting a 59-15 record and winning the MCLA Division II national championship last spring, Davenport head coach Bob Clarkson announced that he will be resigning at the end of the 2012 season.

Clarkson, who is a full-time faculty member at Davenport teaching project management, started the ball rolling on this announcement five months ago, and it finally came to fruition yesterday (Friday).

"I've been working with my AD now since last summer on this," Clarkson said. "We got an agreement from HR to post the job in January, even though I'm not going to leave until the end of May. It just got posted yesterday, which was the catalyst for me telling the team."

Clarkson's departure from Davenport is amicable, as he wants to return to a full course load and concentrate on his doctoral work in education. Five years ago, when the president of the university approached Clarkson to start the men's program, Clarkson received a "two-class release," which meant he only taught eight courses instead of the usual 10. He'll now return to the full slate.

"I really enjoy teaching," Clarkson said. "I feel like coaching is just an extension of teaching, but I'm getting [my PhD] in education, with the emphasis on sports management. I'd maybe like to write a little bit and teach and that will probably be the end game. I'm going on 46-years-old, so I've got a solid 10-15 years left and I'd like to do that."

The job should be an attractive one for prospective head coaches. Not only are the Panthers expected to be in contention to repeat as national champions, but Clarkson said the best recruiting class in his five years will matriculate next fall. In 2013, Davenport will be bumping up to MCLA Division I.

There is the potential for further upward mobility. Davenport applied for admission to NCAA Division II last summer, according to Clarkson, and was denied. The plan is to re-apply in the near future, and if the institution is accepted, lacrosse will be one of the teams that is sponsored.

"Everything we're doing, even today, is to keep an eye on that," said Clarkson. "Our goal is to keep ourselves from being in a negative situation when that day comes."

Clarkson said he may stay somewhat involved with the program next year – he mentioned doing the public address announcing – but nothing on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the Panthers three assistant coaches are staying on board.