Legendary coach, goalkeeper Bobby Clark retires

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He learned from Alex Ferguson, won 17 caps for Scotland, and led Notre Dame’s men to an NCAA title.

Now Bobby Clark, one of the best coaches in American college soccer history, is hanging up his whistle after 17 years at Notre Dame.

[ MORE: NBC’s profile on Bobby Clark ]

As a goalkeeper, Clark set a shutout record that lasted 38 years and required Edwin van der Saar to break it.

As a coach, Clark developed MLS and USMNT stars like Matt Besler, Dillon Powers, Harrison Shipp, Justin Morrow, and Jeb Brovsky.

The full statement is here.

“I just finished telling our team that this, my 17th season at Notre Dame, will be my last,” said Clark. “This has been possibly the hardest decision I have had to make in my time at Notre Dame. I have loved my time at this University and, although I have kept postponing retirement, with my 73rd birthday coming up next year I felt it was time to be in a position to spend quality time with Bette, my wife of almost 50 years, my children and importantly my seven grandchildren. I have always looked at my team as extended family, so the players will be greatly missed. If I stretch my collegiate coaching career back to when I began at Dartmouth back in 1985 then I really do have a lot of extended family.”