Dec. 3, 2013
San Jose, Calif.-----After 24 seasons, 217 victories and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Gary St. Clair is retiring as the San Jose State University men's soccer head coach. Athletics director Gene Bleymaier made the announcement.
A four-time Coach of the Year honoree, St. Clair is one of only two Spartan men's soccer head coaches to record 200 or more victories. His 217-victory total only trails the late Julius Menendez, whom St. Clair played for as a goalkeeper during 1970 through 1974 seasons. St. Clair was a two-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) and a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Far West Coach of the Year.
St. Clair, 61-years old, led San Jose State to NCAA Tournament action in 1998, 2000 and 2003. The 1998 team was the Spartans first appearance in national post-season play in 22 years. The 2000 team set a school-record for wins in a season with 20, was ranked #1-nationally in the NSCAA poll for four weeks and completed the regular season as the only undefeated and untied NCAA Division I team.
Entering the 2013 season, St. Clair ranked 41st for coaching victories among NCAA Division I head coaches. His teams had 12 winning seasons and won 10 or more matches in a season eight times. In 2013, the Spartans advanced to the Western Athletic Conference championship game.
"I've coached with great coaches and had great players. I've always believed it's never one man that makes a program. It's about the `program,'" St. Clair said. "I'm very grateful to the players and coaches who are the San Jose State men's soccer program.
"I hope the next head coach can enjoy success right away and appreciate the program's success as much as I have."
At San Jose State, St. Clair coached three players to All-America honors, U.S. national team members C.J. Brown and Ryan Suarez and 79 all-conference honors. Since 2000, his players also earned 31 academic all-conference awards, three NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-West region honors and six awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America program.
The 1976 San Jose State graduate was the primary goalkeeper for the 1976 U.S. national team that competed for a berth in the Montreal Olympics. He played professionally for the San Jose Earthquakes and the San Diego Jaws of the North American Soccer League.
"We want to thank Gary for his many contributions to San Jose State University and to our soccer program through the years. He was an outstanding Spartan as a student-athlete and as our head coach. We wish Gary and his wife, Bev, all the best in their future endeavors," said Bleymaier.
A search for the next San Jose State University men's soccer head coach is underway.