Clendening was considered an outstanding student athlete within his hometown of Yardville, New Jersey. A
steady second baseman he received 1st Team All Mercer County honors for Hamilton High – West (Hornets) his
senior year. His love for soccer grew in the early 1970s especially on the defensive side of the ball. A two year
varsity starter at Fullback he Captained the Hornets in 1973 achieving 1st Team All County and 3rd Team All State
honors. Additionally, Mike started as an outside defender for the state powerhouse Scot American side and was a
key contributor to the Hamilton Township All Stars championship win of the Robbey Tourney in Toronto, Canada.
His high school soccer coach, Tom Kenny, recommended he consider attending the U.S. Naval Academy. After
attending the Navy/Air Force soccer game in the fall of 1973 he was hooked. The late great Coach Glenn Warner
saw a future for Mike on the Severn. He would forever be a “Warner boy”.
Mike was known to be reserved in character but a hard nosed defender. Clendening was a four year varsity
player, starting his last three years at fullback. Clendening learned that he was “color blind” going into 2nd class
summer exempting many of the normal career paths. Persistence paid off and wIth the help of Coach Warner and
Coach Carl Ulrich (Assistant Athletic Director) a career path was found that would keep him on with the Navy side
through graduation and beyond.
Clendening was selected in 1977 as co-Captain with Scott Eckert for the 1977 squad. During his four years (‘74 –
‘77) his Navy side teammates amassed a record of 29 wins, 13 losses, 4 ties and capturing one Navy “N-star”.
Clendening earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science joining his Fleet classmates in December
1978, commissioned an Ensign within the Geophysics (Restricted Line) community. During his military career
hydrographic ship tours included USNS CHAUVENET (T-AGS 29) with Oceanographic Unit FOUR and USNS
HARKNESS (T-AGS 32) as Commanding Officer, Oceanographic Unit FIVE, both on independent duty in
Indonesian waters. Additional operational and staff tours included Meteorology and Oceanography commands in
Suitland, MD; Norfolk, VA; Bay St. Louis, MS and Tampa, FL.
Clendening was inducted into the Hamilton High-West Hall of Fame in 1997.
Clendening retired as Commander (1800 designator) in January 1999. After a short adventure as a government
contractor he secured a senior Systems Engineering position under the U.S Armyʼs Communications, Electronics,
Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Aberdeen, MD. As an Army civilian he excelled in the
Army Acquisition Corps and received his Master Degree in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Post
Graduate School, Monterey, CA. His entire Army civilian career (2002 – 2019) was spent within the U.S. Special
Operations Command as a Rapid Response Requirements Analyst and liaison for the U.S. Armyʼs CERDEC.
Clendening is a Plankowner who contributed to the U.S. Naval Academyʼs Alumni Association and Foundation
Center. He is retired with his wife, Debi, and enjoying travel, fishing and grandsonʼs activities