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California Golden Blogs Hall Of Fame - Jack Clark

Jack Clark

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Carp has nothing but great things to say about his former coach. Here's his writeup.

Coach Clark, a Cal rugby alum himself, deserves to be up there on the list of integral people associated with Cal. He has guided Cal rugby to 19 national titles since he took over in 1981. He led Cal to an unprecedented 115 game winning streak.

Winning was not necessarily the aim. Rather, it was a by-product of excellent preparation, attention to detail, dedication, and perservearance. He teaches his players to be thoughtful, selfless, and responsible adults. Clark is quick to point out that Cal rugby is completely self-sufficient and is comprised of non-scholarship athletes who earn their keep on and off the pitch.

After all, Clark is accustomed to overcoming incredible odds:

The following month Clark attended a party at the house of an acquaintance in San Francisco and went outside to help break up an altercation. He ended up squared off against a man with a 9-mm Magnum. The assailant, who was under the influence of PCP, fired at Clark, hitting him four times. One bullet shattered his left femur, another the left fibula. At San Francisco General Hospital, heavily sedated and suffering significant nerve damage in the leg, Clark was confronted with the possibility of amputation. One night, while drifting in and out of consciousness, he awoke to a lecture on prosthetic limbs from a hospital counselor. "I called up one of my mates," Clark recalls, "and said, ‘I need you to get down here, and whatever you do, don’t let them take my leg.’"

Clark hung on, enduring a 45-day stay at the hospital and then more than a year of physical therapy. Eighteen months after the shooting he ran a 10K. "When something like that happens," he says, "you’re either going to be a victim or you’re not."


For example, rather than his team do bench press excercises, he has them do pullups:

"We do a lot of pullups because they’re great for grip strength" said Coach Clark. Picture this: if you’re lifting your opponents up into the air by gripping onto their shorts – be it in a scrum, a ruck, or a maul – you have to rely on your gripping, pulling and hoisting muscles.


On top of this, Clark volunteered to coach the USMC rugby team in the offseason.

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via www.bigcsociety.org

To honor his efforts, the marines presented Clark with this American flag (above) that was flown over Camp Ripper in Iraq on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. It is one of his proudest possessions.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Clark on Stanfurd refusing to play Cal in rugby:

"We lose to Stanford in many sports, but if you want to make a Cal team quit, bring a weapon."