Joe Clarke has continued Washington University’s tradition as a soccer power, having led the Bears to a 227-103-46 (.665) record in 20 seasons. Clarke, the head coach at Saint Louis University for 14 years, was named Washington U.’s sixth men’s soccer coach in May 1997.
Clarke has guided the WU men’s soccer team to 19 winning seasons during his tenure on the Danforth Campus, and he has won at least 11 games in 12 of those campaigns. He has mentored four individuals to National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America honors, as well as four Academic All-Americans during his career at WashU.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Clarke grew up playing in the youth soccer leagues of St. Louis. He graduated to the playing fields of McBride and Normandy High Schools before enrolling at Saint Louis University in 1972, where he graduated with a degree in marketing in 1976.
With the Billikens, Clarke helped Saint Louis U. capture NCAA national championships in 1972 and 1973. A defender, he earned All-America honors in 1975.
Clarke’s playing and academic careers were far from over after his collegiate days at Saint Louis. He went on to play for the St. Louis Stars and California Surf of the now-defunct NASL. Clarke earned his law degree at Pepperdine University while with the Surf.
A seven-year professional career came full circle when Clarke returned home to play for the St. Louis Steamers. Following his final pro season with the Steamers in 1982, Clarke was given the opportunity to coach at his alma mater following the retirement of hall-of-famer Harry Keough after the 1982 season.