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Saint Mary's Names New Women's Coach

Published: March 19, 2015

MORAGA, Calif. (SMCGaels.com) – Saint Mary’s College athletic director Mark Orr named Travis Clarke as the sixth women’s soccer head coach in the program’s 28-year NCAA Division I history.

Clarke recently concluded his sixth season as the head coach at Cal State San Bernardino, where he led the Coyotes to a 63-40-13 record and a 46-34-10 mark in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Under Clarke’s guidance, CSUSB registered six straight winning seasons and, in 2013, advanced to the NCAA Division I West Regional finals.

“I am very excited to welcome Travis Clarke and his family to Saint Mary’s College,” said Orr.  “Travis is a person of high character with a genuine desire to develop student-athletes both on and off the field.  His teams have experienced competitive success, as evidenced by the fact that he has suffered only one losing season in his nine years as a head coach.

“Under Travis’ direction, I look forward to watching our program continue to make progress, compete for championships and produce student-athletes who are prepared for their next stage of life.”

During his six seasons at CSUSB, Clarke led the women’s soccer program to six consecutive NSCAA and NCAA regional top 10 finishes.  He set program records for career wins (63), single season victories (14) single season CCAA victories (9) and consecutive victories (9).

He guided CSUSB student-athletes to 17 all-CCAA honors and seven NSCAA Far West Region selections.  In 2013, Chelsey Jones earned conference defensive player of the year, NSCAA All-America and Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors and was a finalist for NCAA Woman of the year honors.

Off the field, Clark’s teams won 5-straight NSCAA Team Academic Awards and earned the CSUSB athletic department’s top grade point average.  The program produced 29 academic all-conference and nine Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District® selections.

“I want to thank Mark Orr, Kami Gray and the entire search committee and staff at SMC for trusting me to guide the women’s soccer program at Saint Mary’s,” said Clarke.  “I am leaving behind a wonderful group of student-athletes who gave everything they had for the past six seasons.  My family and I are very excited about this new opportunity to compete in one of the top women’s soccer conferences in the nation and against some of the best coaches in the nation.  

“After meeting with a few members of the team while on my interview, it was evident the entire group is excited and motivated to be successful moving forward.  I can’t wait to get started!”

A 2003 graduate of Cal Poly, Clarke spent three years in the United States Navy.  He began his coaching career in 1998 as the varsity boys coach at Atascadero (Calif.) High School, winning three league titles and helping develop three NSCAA/adidas High School All-Americans.

He began coaching girls soccer with the California Legends Soccer Club in 2000 and served as the girls varsity coach at Nipomo High School in 2005.  During that span, he also spent time as a men’s assistant at Santa Barbara City College and Allan Hancock College, helping lead both programs to conference titles.

In 2006, Clarke became the first ever head women’s soccer coach at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.  He spent three seasons with the Vulcans, compiling a 29-27-1 record that included 25 wins in his final two years.

A native of Atascadero, Clarke is married to the former Kimberli Keller.  The couple has one son, Calix.

What They Say About Travis

“I think Travis is a fantastic hire.  First of all, I consider him to be one of the finest up and coming coaches around.  He is a tireless worker both on and off the field.  He cares deeply for his student-athletes and their development not only as players, but as people and leaders in the community.  Finally, he is a winner.  Whatever he does, he does with a level of excellence that I really admire.  I think it’s a great hire for Saint Mary’s and for women’s soccer in the WCC.” – Tim Ward, Pepperdine University Head Coach.

“Travis is a very talented coach and recruiter.  His teams consistently overachieve in terms of performance and success.  This is a reflection of the passion and determination Travis brings every day.  I am confident that Saint Mary’s will do very well under Travis’s leadership.” – Greg Ryan, former U.S. Women's National Team and current University of Michigan Head Coach.

“Saint Mary's has made a tremendous hire in Travis Clarke. Travis has been successful everywhere he has coached and is one of the best team builders I have been around. He has a tireless work ethic, cares about the student-athletes he works with and will be an outstanding asset to the tight-knit Saint Mary's College athletic family.” – Michael Needham, University of Rhode Island Head Coach.

“I am thrilled to learn that Travis Clarke will be the new head women's soccer coach at Saint Mary's College. He has been a mentor for me throughout my coaching career and has helped me achieve many of my career goals. Having been a Gael myself, I can truly say that Travis encompasses all the values associated with Saint Mary's and his work ethic, leadership and soccer background will help the women's soccer players achieve their full potential on the soccer field and in the classroom so they are fully prepared to achieve success in life after college.” – Leonard Griffin, former CSU San Bernardino Women's Assistant and Saint Mary's Men's Assistant and current UCLA men's Assistant Coach.

“I coached against Travis years ago in the PacWest Conference and found him to be knowledgeable and well prepared. He is a seasoned coach who understands the nuances of recruiting and treats his players well. His familiarity with intimate, unique universities will serve Saint Mary's well.” – Michele Nagamine, University of Hawai'i Head Coach.

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