For the first time in 21 years, J.B. Clarke woke up Wednesday without a meeting to attend or a report to file.
"I’ve been employed since 1989," he said. "It feels a little bit weird waking up and not really having an office to go to."
Clarke resigned earlier in the day as head coach at Washington College and as the school’s assistant athletic director. In 12 years, Clarke had guided the Shoremen to a combined 138-63 record and seven NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. In 2004, the school reached its first Final Four since 1998.
But Washington went 4-10 this season and had to deal with a hazing incident prior to the beginning of the season. Still, Clarke disputed any link to his decision to step down.
"Some people may point to the incident in January, but that wasn’t it," he said. "That actually brought me close to the players. That was a teachable moment.The NCAA reports that 80 percent of student-athletes are hazed, and what this did was – without any real tragedy – it gave us an opportunity and gave me an opportunity to really help educate these guys. I was far closer to this team that had that incident and had a disappointing year as far as wins and losses go than maybe any that I had."
Clarke said he has no immediate plans for the future other than attending one of his daughter’s softball championship game. Clarke said there are opportunities in an administrative role and private sector, but he didn’t dismiss the possibility of returning to coaching.
"I love working with young guys," he said. "A lot of people ask, ‘Do you want to keep doing it?’ Yes. The relationships, the opportunity to work with people that age is really unparalleled."