Women's Soccer Head Coach Dave Clarke and Director of Athletics Jack McDonald Named to Inaugural Irish Sports Top 50

Photos of Irish Sports 50 Reception

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Quinnipiac women's soccer coach Dave Clarke and director of athletics & recreation Jack McDonald and were recently named to the 2013 Irish Sports Top 50. The first annual Irish Sports Top 50 is presented by the Irish Voice, which also honors the Irish Legal 100 and the Irish Education 100.

The most notable honorees include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, former University of Connecticut men's basketball head coach Jim Calhoun, New York Mets manager Terry Colins, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, IMG Worldwide CEO Michael J. Dolan, Los Angeles Galaxy star Robbie Keane, University of Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly, New  York Giants president and CEO John Mara, professional tennis legend John McEnroe, Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, in addition to many more notable Irish sports figures.

"It is very humbling to be named as one of the 50 Irish sports figures," Clarke said. "It is an honor to be recognized with the likes of Robbie Keane, John McEnroe, Jim Calhoun and Tom Brady, sports figures who have accomplished so much in their careers."

Clarke recently earned national recognition for his "#26 Uniform Auction for Sandy Hook" that established a scholarship fund in memory of those killed in Newtown back in December. Clarke's vision helped to raise more than $30,000 in a month, surpassing its original goal of $25,000.

In April, following the auction culmination, Clarke commented that, "The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit a raw nerve with everybody around the world and soccer is truly a global game. When you look at the continents involved, the countries involved and some of the politics involved, that's greater than the cause itself."

Clarke recently completed his 14th season as Quinnipiac's women's soccer head coach, posting a 117-111-23 record. Clarke guided the 2000 team to the NCAA Tournament, becoming the first head coach to do so in the University's Division I history. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Clarke was an assistant on the 2008 Irish national women's team. Clarke previously coached at the University of New Haven where he was named 1998 NECC Coach of the Year.

McDonald has been at the helm of the Quinnipiac athletic department for the past 18 years, guiding the University's varsity programs from Division II to Division I status. McDonald was recently honored with the St. Francis Award by the Franciscan Life Center.

"I am very honored to be named to the Irish Sports 50," McDonald said. "This recognition made me immediately think of the McDonalds and Sullivans who brought me to this world and our families to the America from Ireland. I am truly honored and very, very grateful to all my family and sports colleagues who have assisted me so warmly for many years."

In addition to assisting the University with raising funds for scholarships, facilities, McDonald has overseen fund-raising programs for the Quinnipiac community and charities, as well as raise thousands of dollars in his own community with the Irish Eyes Are Miling (Cheshire Relay for Life), Labor Day Movie Night (Petit Family Foundation) and the Gurnet Saquish Beach Run (Gurnet Saquish Fire Fund).

An active member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), McDonald was named to the Executive Committee after serving as the NCAA I-AAA President. In addition to Quinnipiac's many on-field accomplishments under McDonald's guidance, the Bobcats have also reached unprecedented heights in the classroom.

In each of the last 14 years as a Division I athletic department, Quinnipiac has seen consistent improvement in its student-athletes cumulative grade-point averages and steady expansion of all-academic honors within the Northeast Conference and ECAC Hockey. McDonald founded the Quinnipiac governing board of faculty and staff, the Athletics Council and instituted "Positive Play" programs with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

McDonald also helped secure Quinnipiac's Invitation to  the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in 2012; ECAC Hockey in 2004; and Quinnipiac's first NCAA Certification since moving to Division I in 2004. McDonald was also an intergral part of Quinnipiac's program, design, construction and dedication of the TD Bank Sports Center, a 160,000 square foot facility that features separate state of the art venues for men's and women's basketball and ice hockey.

The TD Bank Sports Center has received significant national recognition for its equity for men and women, as well as for basketball and ice hockey. This past fall, McDonald led the initiative to secure the 2014 NCAA Women's Frozen Four at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Before Quinnipiac, McDonald served as director of athletics at the University of Denver (1990-95) and assistant athletic director for marketing and development at Boston College (1987-90). McDonald is a 1973 graduate of Boston College. He earned a master's degree from Springfield College in 1984.

2013 Irish Sports Top 50

Keegan Bradley

PGA Tour Professional

Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Thomas Brennan

Director of Athletics, LaSalle University

Tim Brosnan

Major League Baseball

Joe Browne

National Football League

Jim Calhoun

Former Men's Basketball Head Coach, University of Connecticut

Dave Clarke

Women's Soccer Head Coach, Quinnipiac University

Mike Cleary

Director Emeritus, NACDA

Terry Collins

Manager, New York Mets

Cathy Coughlin

Sr. Executive Vice President, AT&T

Tom Coughlin

Head Coach, New York Giants

William Daly

Deputy Director, National Hockey League

Michael J. Dolan

Chairman and CEO, IMG Worldwide

David Feherty

Former PGA Tour Pro, CBS Sports Golf Reporter

John Flaherty

Former MLB Player; Analyst, YES Network

Tim Flannery

Third Base Coach, San Francisco Giants

Kevin Garrity

NY1 Cable

Sean Gleason

President and COO, Professional Bull Riders

Jack Hayes

Director of Athletics, Brown University

John Hayes

Chief Marketing Officer, American Express

Debbie Hesse

Executive Director, USA Swimming

Robbie Keane

Los Angeles Galaxy, Major League Soccer

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.

President and CEO, NY/NJ 2014 Super Bown Host Committee

Brian Kelly

Head Football Coach, University of Notre Dame

Marybeth Lamb

Director of Athletics, Bridgewater State Univesity

Michael O'Hara Lynch

Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer, Association of Surfing Professionals

Bill Madden

Sports Columnist, New York Daily News

John Mara

President and CEO, New York Giants

Tim McCarver

Baseball Analyst, Fox Sports

Jack McDonald

Director of Athletics & Recreation, Quinnipiac University

Meghan McDonogh

Senior Woman Administrator, Catholic University

John McEnroe

Former Tennis Professional

Jack McGinley

Pittsburgh Steelers

Frank McLaughlin

Associate Vice President for Athletics, Fordham University

Tom McNamara

Director of Amateur Scouting, Seattle Mariners

Pat O'Conner

Minor League Baseball

Mary O'Connor

Vice President of Olympic Marketing, The Marketing Arm

Ryan O'Hara

Director, The Topps Company,  Inc.

Pat Riley

President, Miami Heat

Erin Quinn

Director of Athletics, Middlebury College

Arthur J. Rooney, II

President, Pittsburgh Steelers

Timothy J. Rooney

President, Yonkers Raceway

Nolan Ryan

CEO, Texas Rangers

Thomas Scanlon

Founding Partner,Collins & Scanlon LLP

Erin Donnelly Saulnier

Vice President of Marketing, NBC Sports

Mike Sheehan

Chairman, Hill Holliday

Bill Smith

Director of Team Sales, Madison Square Garden

Brendan Sullivan

Director of Athletics, Stonehill College

Stephen Travers

Vice President of Hospitality, Group Sales and Guest Services, New York Racing Association

Mark Tuohey

Former Chair, D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission