Clark teaches at Woodstock Middle School and started working with the seventh and eighth grade boys basketball teams. He has been involved with the varsity basketball program since his predecessor Brady Richeson took the head coaching job three years ago. When Richeson stepped down from his coaching position earlier this week, Clark was the natural choice to take over the program.
After being offered the job Clark took a day to think about it.
“It’s kind of late in the game and I’m just happy to get the chance to coach these young men,” Clark said.
Earlier in his career Clark taught in Bartow County and served as an assistant varsity coach for the Woodland boys basketball team.
Clark said he is familiar with many of the student-athletes on the Wolverine team.
“I coached some of them in middle school,” Clark said. “Those that came from Freedom, our other feeder school middle school, I haven’t gotten a chance to coach, but I’ve seen them play.”
Woodstock athletic director Tonya Sebring said Clark holds the position of interim head coach until a decision can be made about a permanent replacement.
“The timing calls for us to do this,” Sebring said. “We will do a search, but right now coach Clark is the best fit for the program. He is familiar with the program. He is a great leader. He knows the kids. He knows basketball. He has top-shelf character. We are real excited about handing the program to him.”
Clark’s move to head coach was the first major change to the athletic program under Sebring, who became the athletic director at Woodstock when Scott Krug moved to River Ridge at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Sebring has not ruled out Clark taking the job permanently and he certainly hopes that he gets the chance.
“I was coaching in Bartow County for a few years then I had two children and coached at the middle school level,” Clark said. “I waited until my kids got a little older before deciding if I wanted to be a head varsity basketball coach again. I jumped at the chance to work with coach Richeson and then this situation came about and I’m just going with it.”
At the end of 2014-15 season, Clark will meet with the administration and the two sides will decide where to go from there.
There are certainly benefits to keeping Clark with the program. Clark will be the team’s third coach in five seasons. Richeson was at Woodstock for just three years following the resignation of Sean Glaze at the end of the 2010-11 season. All the the coaching changes make it hard to develop consistency in a program.
“You would like to see a program stay the course for the long haul and we want to do that,” Clark said.
Because the Woodstock middle and high schools are actually housed in the same building, just in two different wings, Clark said it is easy for him to communicate with the players and the other members of the staff.
“We are under one big roof and we are just the Woodstock family,” Clark said.
He plans to sit down with the other members of the coaching staff and formulate a plan for the upcoming season in July.
“We have a couple other guys still on staff,” Clark said. “We are going to go over how things went this summer and then decide as a team what direction we are going to go.”
In a statement to the Tribune Friday night, Richeson said it was his decision to leave the Woodstock team.
“It was 100 percent my personal decision,” Richeson’s statement read. “I’m choosing to invest in my family.”
According to Sebring Richeson will remain employed as a teacher at Woodstock.