The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Clark tries to salvage season

No matter what coaching position he finds himself in, KevinClark will attempt to make the most of his opportunity.

Clark, who was named interim head coach of the St. John’s men’sbasketball team on Dec. 19 has the unenviable task of bridging thegap between fired head coach Mike Jarvis and a new coach nextseason, all while having to coach a struggling team that sits alonein the basement of the Big East.

Although this has been a season on the brink, winning his firstgame as a Division I head coach was exciting for Clark.

Even more memorable for Clark was that his first collegiatevictory came against Holy Cross, where he served as an assistantfor six months during the 1982-83 season.

“The city of Worcester has a special place in my heart, as doesHoly Cross,” said Clark, who was inducted into the New EnglandBasketball Hall of Fame in September. “It’s been a long time sinceI’ve been around there, so I’m pretty far removed, and it’s notlike I just left.”

The Red Storm held off the Crusaders, 64-61, in the consolationgame of the Holiday Festival and then defeated Niagara five dayslater to record its first two-game winning streak of theseason.

“I got my start as a coach at Holy Cross with George Blaney,” hecontinued. “In a way, it was kind of special to get my first winagainst a university that I love and respect.”

Prior to St. John’s, Clark worked as an assistant to Jarvis atGeorge Washington for four seasons before following him to SJU asassociate head coach in June of 1998.

In his five years as an assistant, he organized the Red Storm’srecruiting efforts and was integral to the day-to-day operation ofthe team.

Clark, although known for his versatility, is an expert indeveloping post skills in players of all sizes.

He used those skills as an assistant at George Washington,aiding the Colonials to an impressive 78-45 overall record duringhis tenure, including a school best record of 24-9 in the 1997-98season. They won two Atlantic-10 titles and earned two NCAATournament berths during that time as well.

Prior to his service at GW, Clark assisted Paul Cormier atFairfield University beginning in 1991. His alma mater, ClarkUniversity, called him home from 1987-91 and, during his tenure ascoach, the team captured the Division III Northeast RegionalChampionship, compiling a 20-7 mark during the 1987-88campaign.

Clark was as an All-American basketball star in the late ’70sand early ’80s at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

He still holds career records at the University for rebounds,rebounding average and field goal percentage.

The three-time All-American selection is also the school’sfourth all-time leading scorer with 1,605 points. He was named tothe Clark University Athletic Hall of Fame on January 28, 1995.

A big man himself, Clark is extremely proficient as a student ofthe game, especially in the area of teaching big men how to play inthe post effectively and how to rebound well.

Although stuck in what may seem like a precarious position as alame duck, interim coach, Clark keeps his chin up and does not getdown on himself.

He has had success every place he has been, and should have noproblem finding a job next season.

Clark has been saying all season long that the Red Storm needsto take this season one game at a time.

Fortunately for him, there are only 11 games left in what hasbecome one of the worst seasons in program history.

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