Gamecocks hire Perry Clark as assistant basketball coach
COLUMBIA, S.C. - University of South Carolina head men's basketball coach Frank Martin has announced the hiring of Perry Clark as an assistant coach. Clark is a former head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and most recently at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Clark fills the open spot on Martin's staff after former associate head coach Brad Underwood was named the head coach at Stephen F. Austin in late April.
"We are extremely excited about adding Coach Clark to our staff with the experience and the unbelievable story of success that continues to follow him," Martin said. "He is someone who understands the land of recruiting as well as anyone in the country. His experience with preparing teams that have been ranked in the top 10 in the country and to play in the ACC and the Metro Conference is something that will serve our players and coaches in tremendous ways."
Clark has over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 15 years combined as head coach at both Tulane University and the University of Miami (Fla.). As a head coach, Clark owned a 304-270 (.529) record, including seven 20-win seasons and nine postseason appearances.
"I'm very excited to be at South Carolina," Clark said. "I've known Frank Martin for a long time and I know the hard work and integrity that he brings to a program. For me to be able to come in and add to that, and be a part of that, is something that was very appealing to me."
In 11 seasons at Tulane, Clark compiled a 185-145 (.561) record, had six 20-win seasons, seven postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 4 NIT) and won the Metro Conference championship in 1992. The 1992 National Coach of the Year, he was a two-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year (1991, 1992).
He took over the program at Miami in 2000 and spent four seasons with the Hurricanes, where he led them to a 65-54 (.546) record. In his first three seasons with the program, he accumulated 51 wins, the most ever by a Hurricane coach, and became the only Miami coach to take the Hurricanes to the postseason in each of his first two seasons.
Clark's 2001-02 Hurricane squad finished 24-8 and received the school's fourth NCAA Tournament berth and set a school record for wins in a season. Included in the 24 wins were a school-record 14 consecutive victories to open the season. His Hurricanes were not ranked in the preseason, but were ranked for the final 13 weeks of the campaign, ending the year No. 21 according to the Associated Press.
In four seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Clark led the Islanders to a 54-71 (.432) overall record. His 2008-09 squad doubled its win total from the previous season and Kevin Palmer earned Southland Newcomer of the Year honors after posting 18.2 points per game in leading a team in which no player had more than a season of NCAA Division I experience.
Clark has coached 17 players who were drafted or have gone on to play in the NBA. Twelve of those draftees have gone in the first or second rounds, including 2002 selection John Salmons, who was taken with the 26th pick of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs, and James Jones, who was a second-round selection by the Indiana Pacers in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Other NBA draftees include Anthony Reed and Jerald Honeycutt at Tulane, Frank Brickowski from Penn State, and Bruce Dalrymple, Duane Ferrell, Tom Hammonds, Yvon Joseph, Craig Neal, Brian Oliver, Mark Price, John Salley, and Dennis Scott from Tech.
Before he became a head coach, Clark was the associate head coach at Georgia Tech from 1986-88 and an assistant for the Yellow Jackets from 1982-86 under Bobby Cremins. He also served as assistant coach at Penn State from 1978-1982 and started his coaching career at famed DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland as an assistant coach under legendary prep coach Morgan Wootten. Clark was inducted into the Tulane Hall of Fame in 2009 after being inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame during the 2008 season.