Beyond the Game: Franklin-Simpson's David Clark steps down after 33 year coaching career

Published: Mar. 26, 2017 at 10:58 PM CDT
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Coach David Clark has dedicated much of his life to the game of basketball, and after over three decades, over 270-plus wins and seven district championships, the longtime coach at Franklin-Simpson decided to step down.

"No regrets and just a lot of fun," said Clark.

A graduate of Franklin-Simpson in the late 1970's, coach Clark says that he didn't get to play varsity basketball in high school, so he hung his hat on football.

Still, he took advantage of learning more about the game of basketball from the bench to eventually get into coaching, and while in college worked as a graduate assistant for Western Kentucky great Clem Haskins.

After making multiple coaching stops (Glasgow, ACS, and Pineville), a high point of his coaching career was when he joined the staff at Union County and won a state championship as an assistant.

"It's as high as you can get," said Clark. "Everybody loses their last game but one and we won that thing at Western Kentucky in 1996."

After all of the coaching success, he still only had one school on his mind---Franklin-Simpson. He finally returned home in 1998, starting with coaching the Lady Cats for five years.

"I came back for my school," Clark said. "I love my school and this was my destination."

Afterward, he transitioned to the boys' teams, running that program for nine seasons before retiring in 2011 thinking his coaching days were over.

But in May of 2014, he returned not only to the sidelines but to his alma mater, to coach the Lady Wildcats once again, and he said he did it for three reasons---his love of Franklin-Simpson, for school Principal Tim Schlosser, and the players.

"I was blessed to have those kids," said Clark. "culminated with them winning the district championship this year was as good as any championship I've won and that includes the state championship."

As thankful as he said he was to have those players, they considered themselves the lucky ones.

"I just want to tell him thank you for everything he's done," said senior Osheonna Baker.

"Thank you for being our coach and working with us," said senior Kourtne Turner. "Leading us to where we want to be."

"I love him so much," said senior Tristany Lunsford. "I see him as my 'white grandpa' and I"m really going to miss him. That's what I'm going to miss the most about high school in coach Clark."

He says he's not sure what's in store for his future, but for now, he's comfortable with this decision and is happy with what he accomplished the past 33 years.

"I did things the right way," said Clark. "I did things ethically and I'm proud of what we accomplished."