Marshall Clark

October 5, 2002 I'm sure many of you have heard the news of Marshall Clark's passing earlier this week. The family, as we all are, is devastated by the loss, but are warmed and comforted by the out pouring of love and admiration for this very special man. As anyone who knew Marshall knows, we are very lucky to have had him as a father, husband, grandfather, coach and friend. We will miss him dearly but will continue to honor his spirit in our own lives; his generosity, his integrity, his drive and his heart. In this way, he will live on with us. We would like to thank everybody for their special words, their flowers, their love, and their support. The Clarks & DeCamaras That man is special who dares to dream and pursue it, using his head for himself and his heart for others. That man is special who strives to leave the world better than he found it. -Anonymous The track community is deeply saddened by the loss of Marshall Clark who died Monday, September 30th of an apparent heart attack. He was 69 years old. Marshall Clark spent the last 10 years of a long and illustrious career at Saratoga High School where he coached the boys and girls Track & Field and Cross Country teams. Prior to coaching at Saratoga, Marshall was the Head Track coach at San Jose State until the program was disbanded in 1988 and coached at Stanford University from 1968 to 1978 where he led their Cross Country team to a 2nd place NCAA finish in 1968. In the interim Marshall was the Head Track Coach and Assistant Athletic Director for the University of Montana (1978 to 1980). Despite the credentials, Coach Clark as he was widely known by his athletes will perhaps best be remembered for his selfless & indiscriminate dedication to the men and women, boys and girls he coached over five decades, and from his colleagues for his unwavering passion and loyalty to the sport(s). Marshall Clark’s coaching career began in 1958 at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights where he coached for 9 years. Migrating North, he coached Track and Cross Country at Seaside High School for one year before taking the position at Stanford University where he coached under Head Coach, and former Olympic Coach Payton Jordan. Of Marshall, Payton says “He tried to build men and not just champions. As a result everyone was better for having him as a mentor... He made a difference in everyone’s lives who knew him.” Marshall served as a coach for the US National Track Team at the 1972 International Indoor Meet in Moscow. Since 1995, he has served the National Federation’s Interscholastic Coaches Association Sub-Committee* on Education and along with former USC Men’s Head Coach & life long friend Ernie Bullard, as an advisor to India’s Sports Authority, regarding the implementation of Track Clinics in that country. In 1994 Ernie and Marshall spent a month in India in that role. In 1999-2000 Marshall was honored with the prestigious CCS Coach Award for Track & Field. Additionally Marshall was the pioneering spirit behind the Cross Country course at the Stanford golf course that has been the home of the NCAA District-8 Championships for six seasons and the Pac-10 championships from 1972 to 1997. For the last 29 years the course has been the home of the Stanford Invitational and has challenged some of the finest runners in the world. Marshall’s involvement in Track & Field began as an athlete at Muir High School in South Pasadena. After a tour of duty with the Coast Guard, Marshall ran track for the University of Southern California from 1955 to 1957 where he lettered. Following college he ran with the Southern California Striders when he was a member of the the Sprint Medley team that ran the third fastest time in the world that year, 1960. Marshall first gained Payton’s attention as a “courageous runner” before being hired on at Stanford but his reputation as a coach was quickly established. Payton maintains today that the modest Marshall was “one of America’s greatest coaches.” Runners coached under Marshall Clark include olympians Don Kardong, Duncan Macdonald and Anthony Sandoval. Don Kardong points out that “he was equally happy coaching runners who no one has ever heard of, runners who simply wanted to be better. He loved coaching high school runners as much as college stars. Maybe more so.” He goes on further to say that “Everyplace he went, great athletes and teams emerged. Dave Gordon at Montana, Danny Gonzalez at San Jose State. Dozens more.” Natural ability was in the genes. Marshall’s three children ran Track and Cross Country for Mountain View High School in the 1980’s. His son Richard went on to run for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and his daughter Shannon for USC, Marshall’s alma mater. Marshall is survived by his wife Carol, his son Richard, daughters Stacy and Shannon and step daughters Michelle and Jacqueline DeCamara, and six grandchildren. A memorial will be held for Marshall Clark on Saturday, October 12 at 4pm at Saratoga High School, 203000 Herriman Ave, Saratoga 95070. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marshall Clark Track and Cross Country Fund, c/o Saratoga HS. *U.S. State Department