ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR (1): 2016 (ECFC)
Nat Clark enters his first season at the helm of the Husson football team in 2019 and 13th overall season on the coaching staff. He also serves as the team’s offensive line coach and special teams coordinator in his 20th season of coaching football.
The fourth head coach in the Eagles’ 15-year history since the program was re established after a 58-year hiatus in 2002, Clark was appointed as the program’s leader on February 4th, 2019 as the successor to the legendary Gabby Price, who coached the Green and Gold for 12 seasons while accumulating an impressive 72-45 (.615) record with five conference titles and four national tournament appearances.
Coach Clark has been a witness to much of the program’s success and helped build the program from a reboot, independent club to an established NCAA Division III, national power-level team during his 12 years as the assistant head football coach under Price.
In yet another testament to the program’s winning ways, Husson has gone 47-17 (.734) since Clark returned to the Eagles’ sidelines in 2013, including a 37-4 (.902) mark versus conference opponents and a record of 25-4 (.862) at home, that includes reeling off 14 consecutive home-field victories from a 40-7 win over Castleton on October 3rd, 2015 to a 31-28 loss to Western New England on September 15th, 2018.
In this final season as an assistant coach, Clark‘s offensive line and special teams units helped pave the way for Husson to capture their fifth straight ECFC championship in the program’s final season as a member of the conference and the fourth NCAA Tournament trip in the last five years in 2018.
The Husson offensive front was anchored by the 2018 ECFC Offensive Lineman of the Year, All-ECFC first team choice, All-New England and All-East Second team selection, senior left guard Brad Weston, All-ECFC first team selection, sophomore left tackle Jacob Cameron and All-ECFC honorable mention honoree, senior center Dominic Boulrisse. The Eagle O-line helped Husson top 5,000 yards of total offense and 2,000 yards of rushing for the third straight season and was also key in pass protection, surrendering only four sacks in league games and 11 overall as the Eagles’ record-setting passing game averaged 242.7 yards per game on the season, while surpassing the 2,000 yard mark for the third consecutive year.
Clark’s impact on the HU’s special teams was nothing short of remarkable in 2018 as the Eagles saw both their kickoff and punt return specialists, seniors Ty Bassett and Quan Soyini earn All-ECFC first team honors for the first time in program history, while Soyini was named the program’s first-ever ECFC Special Teams Player of the Year. The Eagles’ special teams unit set 12 school-records, including yardage on punt returns in a game (147 at Castleton), yardage on punt returns in a season (482), touchdowns scored on punt returns in a season (4), punt return average in a game (40.5 at SUNY Maritime), punt return average in a season (20.08), touchdowns scored on kickoff returns in a season (2). The Eagles also led the ECFC in punt return yardage, punt returns, punt return average, punt and kickoff return touchdowns, PAT made (45) and attempts (54) and held their opponents to an average of 15.8 yards per kickoff return and 7.6 yards per punt return.
Individually, Bassett set a new mark for touchdowns on kickoff returns in a season (2) and Soyini bettered five program standards: touchdowns on punt returns in a season (3), yardage on punt returns in a season (430) and in a game (147 at Castleton), punt return average in a game (40.5 at SUNY Maritime) and the longest punt return (82 yds at Rensselaer). Both players will leave the program as the all-time career leader in multiple special teams categories.
2017: Clark coached an offensive line and coordinated a special teams unit that helped the program capture back-to-back ECFC championships for the first time in program history in 2017, becoming the first team in ECFC history to repeat as the league champion. The Eagles went a perfect 7-0 in ECFC play for the third time in the last four seasons, a feat that no league member has ever accomplished before and finished the regular season with a 9-1 overall mark for the second straight season with a 42-14 victory over Mount Ida College in the final matchup between the two schools on November 11. As Mount Ida announced in the Spring of 2018, they would be closing their doors for good. The Mustangs were the only team the Eagles played in every year since the program returned to varsity status in 2003.
After the senior day victory over the Mustangs, the Eagles then went on to defeat #19/#20 Springfield College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on November 18th. The 28-24 victory over the Pride resulted into the program’s first-ever postseason win, over a ranked opponent and in the NCAA Tournament to finished their 15th year anniversary season with double-digit wins for the first time in school history with a 10-2 overall mark.
The Eagle offensive line and special teams were two of the main cogs who helped Husson break into the national rankings for the first team in program history. The Eagles, who entered the AFCA Poll at No. 31 in the final regular season edition on November 13, climbed ten spots to No. 21 and was unranked in the final d3football.com regular season edition, jumped up to a tie for No. 25 with Franklin. The final AFCA and d3football.com rankings represents the highest in program history and marked the first time that a team from the ECFC is ranked in the top 25 in both polls.
His offensive line helped the Eagles once again led the conference in 3rd down conversion pct. (0.428), first downs (255), scoring offense (37.6), team passing efficiency (137.88), total offense (423.5), completion percentage (.582) and sacks allowed (12). They also helped clear the path for All-American senior running John Smith, who led the nation in rushing yards and passed block for the best quarterback in the ECFC last season in junior Cory Brandon.
The offensive line was anchored by two All-ECFC First Team selections, freshman left tackle Jacob Cameron - became the first freshman offensive lineman to earn First Team All-Conference accolades in program history and junior left guard Brad Weston. Cameron earned All-ECAC First Team honors and was named to the American College Football Network’s (AFCN) Freshman All-American First Team, while Weston also earned d3football.com All-East Second Team honors and the whole offensive line was named to the Noontime Sports Team of the Year, Cameron, Weston, Luis Rivera, Josh Rivera and Brandon Darias.
The Eagles boasted one of ECFC’s top special teams units in 2017, ranking first in kickoff return average (24.7), extra points made by kicking (58), extra points attempted by kicking (60), punt returns allowed (10), yards allowed per punt return (7.6), punt return yards allowed (76), yards allowed per kickoff return average (17.25). Sophomore kicker Devin Pickett ranked first in the league in extra points made (58) and attempts and second in extra point percentage (97%) and points with 61. Returner Quan Soyini led the league in punt return touchdowns with one while averaging 13.6 yards on 24 returns. Clark’s units were also No. 1 in the ECFC with ten blocked kicks and eight blocked punts a season ago, both being team records, with seven of those ten blocks coming from senior Jean Gabriel.
The Eagle special teams units featured three All-ECFC selections in Gabriel, Soyini and Pickett, while Gabriel earned d3football.com All-East Second Team honors as well being named to their Third Team All-American squad.
Off the field, Clark saw three offensive line named to the 2017 ECFC All-Academic team, two earned NFF Hampshire Honor Society accolades and one earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honor.
2016: Clark earned ECFC Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2016 after helping lead the Eagles to a school record 9-2 mark and the program’s second ever appearance in the NCAA DIII Championship Tournament, after falling in their first-game of the season to #14 Alfred, 35-28, the Eagles reeled off nine-consecutive wins, a school-record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play for the second time in the last three seasons. He coached an offensive line unit that allowed the team to score a league best 57 touchdowns and 40 points per game and paved the way for an offense that set 13 single-season school records.
2015: Clark guided an offensive line that led the conference and ranked fourth nationally in sacks allowed (4) in 2015. The offensive line led the way for an offense that set single-season records for total offense (4,206), points scored (374), and passing touchdowns (24).
2014: Clark coached Alex Young and Matt Archer to first team All-ECFC honors in 2014. Young was named ECFC Offensive Lineman of the Year and a USA College Football Division III first team All-American. The Eagles averaged an ECFC-best 374.7 yards per contest in total offense, including league-highs in per game average for rushing (225.2) and points (31.4).
2013: Clark began his second stint on the Eagle coaching staff in 2013 and coached an Eagle offensive line that helped Husson achieved a 5-5 overall record and 4-3 mark in conference play. The season was a three-win improvement over the previous season. Clark saw two of his offensive line garner All-ECFC honors, Cody Ziegenfus and Alex Young, as the team notched a winning record in ECFC play for the first time in program history.
Clark’s first stint with the Eagles from 2003-08, he helped Coach Price established a program known for its hard-nosed rushing attack and physical defense, that produced the program’s first-ever victory on October 9th, 2004 against Southern Virginia University, 28-14, the first winning season in 2006 and the first-ever postseason appearance in 2008. During the six-year run, the Eagles amassed a 25-28 overall record but was 19-10 from 2006-08.
Clark also served as Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services from 2004-08 and is currently Husson Athletics’ Academic Coordinator.
Prior to returning to Husson in January 2013, Clark served as an Assistant Football Coach at Bangor High School for four seasons from 2009-2012. Bangor reached the Class A State Championship game during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. While at Bangor, Clark also served as a Physical Education teacher.
Clark began his coaching career at Bangor High School assisting current Husson head coach Gabby Price in 2000, Price’s last year at Bangor High School. He then assisted one more year at Bangor in 2001 before coming to Husson in 2002.
Clark is a native of Bangor where he attended Bangor High School, graduating in 1995. At Bangor, he played for head coach Gabby Price. He was captain of both the football and basketball teams.
Clark then spent a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy graduating in 1996. At Bridgton, he was a member of the Wolverine football program under head coach Rick Marcella. He then moved on to the University of Maine graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. He was a four-year member of the football program where he played on the offensive line for legendary UMaine head coach Jack Cosgrove. Clark earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in the Spring of 2012.
Clark and his wife Jill have been married for 16 years and have three children, Max, Landon and Avery. The Clark’s reside in Bangor where Jill is a 1st Grade teacher in the Bangor School system.