Davenport Prepares for MCLA D1 Jump


Last year, Davenport was able to do what every team hopes for, finish their season with a win. The win marked Davenport’s first ever D2 National Championship, in only four years as a program – VERY IMPRESSIVE!

A couple weeks ago, we heard some rumors flying around concerning Davenport and a possible move to the MCLA D1. I emailed Coach Clarkson to see if he could comment on the possible move, his response follows.

“Davenport is moving to MCLA D1 next year.  We have sought and been granted approval by the CCLA.

As a side note, this will be my last year coaching.  We have posted the position on Laxpower and will be interviewing candidates.  I hope to remain a part of the team in some capacity or another but will not be doing anything day to day.  I am a full time faculty member at Davenport and am pursuing a doctorate that is taking up a great deal of my time.”

A few days later, this was released to the public.

For Immediate Release – 2012 Season to be Bob Clarkson’s Final One on Davenport Sideline

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After starting the program in the spring of 2007 and leading the Panthers to their first ever MCLA DII National Championship in 2011, head coach Bob Clarkson will step down at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign. Clarkson, who is working on his doctorate, will spend more time in his other role with the university as a faculty member.

Director of Athletics Paul Lowden announced this week that the 2012 campaign will be the final one for head men’s lacrosse coach Bob Clarkson as he takes a larger role within the university’s academic wing. “Bob Clarkson has done an outstanding job putting DU lacrosse on the map, said Lowden. He is a relentless recruiter who understands what it takes to be a successful student-athlete. I consider Bob not just a great coach, but also a great friend. He is leaving the program as the best in the MCLA DII.”

Bob Clarkson has guided the Panthers since its inaugural season in 2007 and entering this spring having posted an overall record of 59-15. The team has won the CCLA North Division title twice under the guidance of Clarkson and has made it to the MCLA DII Final Four each of the past three seasons. The 2011 campaign brought the biggest moment of school history for the lacrosse team as they defeated St. Thomas (Minn.) 14-9 to claim their first ever national title.

“It is bitter sweet, commented Clarkson. I leave the program with a great deal of pride and satisfaction. We won an MCLA DII National Championship in our 4th year. It is a little bitter because I know I will miss the players and coaches. I have recruited every player and hired the coaches and will miss going into battle with these guys.”

In addition to being a faculty member, Bob is also working on a doctorate in sports management from the US Sport Academy. The school has posted the position and Clarkson will be a part of the selection committee for the new coach. “I hope to stay a part of the team in some capacity, but will not be involved day to day, added Clarkson.”

When asked what the greatest moment in his last four seasons, Clarkson quickly responded with “Winning the championship. With two or three minutes left in the National Championship game it began to sink in we were really going to take the game. The 4 OT game over GVSU is a close 2nd however.”

“We wish Bob all the best in continuing his passion for teaching at Davenport as well in his pursuit for his doctorate degree, added Lowden.”