Bowling Green State University women’s soccer coach Jimmy Walker has announced the promotion of Taylor Clarke to associate head coach. Clarke enters his second season on Walker’s staff in the fall of 2022 after serving as an assistant coach on the staff of the 2021 Mid-American Conference champions.
“Taylor is a talented, bright young coach with a huge future ahead in the game,” Walker said. “He has been a great addition to our program at BGSU and has added another level of experience to our staff and team.
“Taylor possesses a great coaching demeanor as well as values that align with our culture. We are fortunate to have Taylor with us and we are excited to go into the fall with this additional level of leadership.”
In his first season with the program, Clarke helped the Falcons to a pair of league titles and a national tourney berth. The fall of 2021 saw BGSU go 11-7-3 overall and 8-2-1 in the MAC, capturing the conference crown. The Falcons captured the MAC Tournament title as well with a pair of shutout wins at Cochrane Stadium, advancing to the NCAA Championships for a fourth-straight season.
BGSU topped Buffalo, 1-0, in the league tournament semifinals, then downed Kent State by a 3-0 result in the championship match. The three-goal margin of victory was the program’s largest in a MAC Tournament final in program history.
Clarke led a BGSU defensive corps that allowed just six goals in 13 total matches against MAC opposition, with nine shutouts in those 13 contests. The Falcons outscored MAC foes by a 17-2 count over the final month of play (Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, spanning seven regular-season and the two tournament matches).
“I want to first thank Jimmy for the opportunity to move forward into this position,” said Clarke. “Since I’ve been at BG he has shown a ton of trust in me, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of that. It is such a bright time for this program and its future. I could not be more excited to help our program continue to grow and find new ways to raise the bar every day.”
Prior to joining Walker’s staff, Clarke led Ashland to an overall record of 32-12-7 (.696) in three seasons as head coach, leading the Eagles to NCAA Division II postseason appearances in both 2018 and 2019.
The 2021 spring season saw Clarke and the Eagles finish 8-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. Among the eight wins was a 2-1 victory at Grand Valley State, the program’s first against the Lakers in 16 years.
In 2019, the Eagles finished 14-5-1 overall and 7-2 in the GLIAC. Ashland reached the NCAA Division II postseason for the second year in a row.
Guiding the Eagles for the first time in 2018, Clarke’s charges went 10-5-5 overall and 4-2-3 in the GLIAC, as Ashland qualified for a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Clarke returned to Ashland after serving as the assistant men’s soccer coach at Calvin College in Michigan in 2017. He helped the Knights to a 21-1-1 record and a berth in the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen. Clarke coached three All-Americans, five all-region and 10 all-conference players as Calvin won conference regular season and tournament championships. The Knights led the nation in scoring (85 goals) and shutouts (15).
Clarke spent the 2016 season as assistant men’s soccer coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, helping the Seahawks garner a top 20 NCAA Division I national ranking.
Clarke played collegiate soccer at Saginaw Valley State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in educational history in 2014.
A native of Cary, Illinois, Clarke earned his Master of Education degree from Ashland in 2016.
The Falcons have an overall record of 17-8-4 since Walker took the helm, and BGSU is 16-3-1 against MAC teams in that time. Since the beginning of the 2018 campaign, BGSU is 45-19-10 overall, 33-5-1 in MAC regular-season action and 40-5-3 in all games vs. league opposition.