Bobby Wallace’s brief flirtation with the vacant Jacksonville State head football coach position came to an abrupt halt Tuesday morning when the Gamecocks announced Bill Clark as their new coach.
The announcement ended speculation the University of North Alabama head coach was the frontrunner for the job after interviewing over the weekend.
UNA athletics director Mark Linder said he received a call from JSU AD Warren Koegel shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday that Wallace was not going to be the new head coach.
“I got a call from Moose (Koegal) around 10:45 letting me know they were not going to offer the job to Bobby, that they were going in a different direction,” Linder said.
Linder said he was informed Friday that JSU was going to schedule an interview with Wallace, who coached with Koegel at Wyoming in 1980.
“I coached with him and we’ve been friends for 30 years,” Wallace said Tuesday afternoon. “He called me and wanted to talk, and I did. I never sent an application or a resume or anything.”
Linder said he was not surprised Wallace expressed interest in the Jacksonville State vacancy.
“In this profession coaches are always looking,” he said. “Nothing in this profession surprises me.”
Wallace said he did not know how close he was to getting a job offer.
“I talked to them, They never offered and I never responded,” he said.
Wallace stressed he is not unhappy at UNA, but doesn’t feel the need to explain why he talked to Jacksonville State officials, either.
“I know the people at UNA probably don’t like it, but I don’t think you need to explain it either,” he said. “Jacksonville State is already in the FCS, it pays about $75,000 more and it’s a business opportunity. You have to look at retirement.”
Wallace said he likely would not have considered the job if he hadn’t been contacted by his friend.
“That’s what led to it,” he said. “I’m not saying I would have taken it if it had been offered. But you have to look at opportunities.”
Wallace said he is not disappointed at staying at UNA.
“I like the people at UNA,” he said. “I’m not disappointed to be staying at UNA. We’ve got some things we need to do, but everybody is working hard at trying to get them done.”
The Gamecocks will introduce Clark as their new head coach today. Clark, a Jacksonville State alum and a native of nearby Anniston, replaces Jack Crowe, who was fired after 13 seasons with the Gamecocks, who play in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Contact Gregg Dewalt at 256-740-5748 or email@example.com. Follow @greggdewalt on Twitter.