Clarke has been successful as both a player and a coach. He won eight international caps and was a key member of the Ulster team that won the European Cup in 1999.
Following his retirement from playing due to injury he moved into coaching and established the Ulster Rugby Academy.
He was appointed assistant coach to Mark McCall and helped guide Ulster to the Magners League title in 2006.
The following season he left Ulster to take up a position as High Performance Manager with the IRFU and was responsible for helping to build Irish Rugby's age grade structure and developing young players, many of whom have gone on to become Ireland internationals.
Following a successful five years, Clarke returned to his native province in 2012 as Elite Performance Manager.
He has further developed the Academy and has expanded the scale and scope of the province's age grade programme.
Clarke, who is renowned for his work rate, his attention to detail and his knowledge of forward play, has also coached at international level - coaching Ireland A and more recently Emerging Ireland team to victory in the 2015 Tbilisi Cup.