In a surprising move of the offseason, long-time Alabama-Birmingham coach Bill Clark has announced he will step down.

“It’s time,” he wrote in a post on social media. “Knowing that doesn’t make this any easier. Retiring as the UAB head football coach is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but my future health and well-being depend on it.”

Clark later revealed that he needs a spinal fusion to repair ongoing back issues.

“I have exhausted all of my options,” he wrote.

Clark revealed that Bryant Vincent would be the interim coach, and David Reeves would be the assistant head coach.

“We rose from ashes to build something rare and real, and we did it together,” he wrote.

Clark is a native of Anniston, Alabama, and graduated from Jacksonville State in 1990 with a degree in physical education and began his football coaching career that year. His head coaching record at UAB is 49-26 and he is 60-30 as a Division I head coach. In 6 years as head coach, Clark won the Conference USA Championship in 2018 and 2020, and claiming a C-USA record three straight C-USA West Divisional titles (2018-2020). The Conference USA Championships are the first two in program history.

The rising from the ashes comment is no doubt referring to the the conclusion of his first season when the university administration discontinued the sport in late 2014, only to reinstate it in June of 2015. With no games to play for the next 2 years, Clark led the rebuild known as #TheReturn.