Clarke returns to USL as coach of the Mariners
The Virginia Beach Mariners are pleased to announce Colin Clarke as their new head coach. The former USL First Division coach returns after six years with FC Dallas of Major League Soccer as assistant and head coach.
Clarke managed FC Dallas for the past three years. He was appointed interim coach in 2003 for the final six games and took over full-time in 2004. Clarke led his team to the playoffs both in 2005 and 2006 and had the most points in MLS last season.
Clarke has previously coached in the USL First Division with the nearby rival Richmond Kickers and the San Diego Flash. He led the Kickers to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999 with a total regular season record of 38-18 before moving onto the Flash where he reached the postseason again with a 16-9-3 record.
Clarke's playing career included time with the Northern Ireland national team, which played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
In making the announcement, Mike Sidebottom, the Mariners owner stated "Colin brings a wealth of experience and excitement to the game. His impressive record with FC Dallas set many milestones. We look forward to him carrying that winning touch with him to Virginia Beach."
Jay Hoffman, who coached the Mariners for the past two seasons, will be dedicating more of his time to the U.S. men's paralympic soccer team in preparation for Beijing in 2008.