Clark Announces Retirement
COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina assistant men’s basketball coach Perry Clark has announced today that he will retire. Clark, a former head coach at Tulane, Miami (Fla.) and at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, spent seven seasons as an assistant at Carolina, including during the historic 2016-17 season when the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four.
“Physically I am fine; I have never felt in better shape than I’m in right now,” Clark said. “Stepping away now gives me an opportunity to do some things in life I have interest in and have wanted to do. My time at South Carolina has been precious and I’ve built some lifetime friendships and relationships I’ll always cherish. I take so much pride in the programs I’ve been a part of during my career, and helping to build them. Our run to the 2017 Final Four was incredible. I say thanks to all of my players, fellow staff members and everyone who has been a part of my career.”
Clark compiled over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 15 years combined as head coach at both Tulane and Miami (Fla.). As a head coach, Clark owned a 304-270 (.529) record, including seven 20-win seasons and nine postseason appearances.
“After several conversations with Perry, he has decided to retire,” Gamecock head coach Frank Martin said. “Perry has been a dear friend for over 25 years, and obviously, he has been a huge part of building our program that advanced to a Final Four. I can’t thank PC enough for his commitment and loyalty to all of us at Carolina.”
During Clark’s seven seasons at Carolina, the Gamecocks posted some of the top seasons in school history, matching the program win record in 2015-16 with 25 victories and a postseason appearance in the NIT, followed by the remarkable run to the Final Four in 2016-17, when the Gamecocks set a school record with 26 wins. Several Gamecocks were honored with accolades for their performances on the court, and also their successes in the classroom during his time at Carolina.
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 in his first three campaigns, 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.
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.
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, and this week it was announced Clark will be inducted into the prestigious Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.
Success has followed Clark’s players, particularly in the early stages of their careers. In his stints at Georgia Tech and Tulane, Clark went a phenomenal eight for nine, from 1983 to 1992, in helping produce the conference’s top rookie, including a Metro record three in a row at Tulane.
Clark has coached 19 players who were drafted or have gone on to play in the NBA. Thirteen 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 Gamecock Sindarius Thornwell, 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.