With more than 25 years of experience in collegiate tennis, Steve Clark has been tabbed as the fourth head coach in the history of Eastern Washington Men's Tennis, the athletics department announced Tuesday, July 1.
Clark comes to Cheney after head coaching stints at Chapman, Texas Tech and UC Irvine and was most recently the director of the Spokane Racquet Club.
"We're looking forward to having a coach with the expertise and success that Steve will bring to the program," said Pamela Parks, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. "His leadership will be outstanding, and we're excited to welcome him to the Eagle family."
"I am looking forward to developing EWU Tennis and being a part of the EWU community," Clark said. "I would like to thank Bill Chaves, Pamela Parks and Don Ross for their support and their passion for EWU. My family and I moved to the Spokane area in 2006 and have enjoyed the Inland Northwest and its wonderful people immensely, and we enjoy the pace and quality of life here. I'm also looking forward to getting involved in the campus and community on behalf of EWU."
Clark got his first head coach position in 1987, taking over lead duties at Chapman University. He promptly led Chapman to a No. 4 national ranking before moving on to Texas Tech in 1992. He coached the Red Raiders to a national ranking and victory over a top-15 Texas program for the first time in 30 years.
After one season in Lubbock, Clark assumed head coaching responsibilities at UC Irvine, leading the Anteaters to national rankings in each of his 14 seasons, including a program-record No. 16 ranking. Under Clark's tutelage, UCI won two Big West Conference titles and earned bids to the NCAA Championship seven times. He coached players to individual rankings as high as No. 5 nationally, and many of his players went on to pursue professional careers on the ATP tour, ranking as high as No. 120 in singles and No. 3 in doubles.
Recently, Clark has directed numerous camps internationally and domestically and has spoken at coaching conventions and clinics.
Clark was an All-American tennis player at UC Davis, making the finals of the NCAA Championship in doubles and a No. 2 national ranking. He went on to play professionally the Sacramento Capitals World Tennis Team.
Additionally, Clark has enjoyed working within the community in which he coaches developing relations for programs and fundraising. He began the first ever athletic endowment at UC Irvine, fundraised nearly a half million dollars, and his players were involved in community outreach, speaking engagements, radio, and TV opportunities. Also, in the spirit of enjoying public relations to promote tennis, he has had tennis legends and personal friends such as Grand Slam great Roy Emerson and the late Vic Braden involved in some of his events, in addition to helping his friend Wayne Bryan (father and coach of Mike and Bob Bryan) work with juniors at US Davis Cup events.
Clark's desire to challenge himself and others mentally and physically led him to train for many years in the oldest Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. He has competed and won regionally, nationally and internationally (Canberra, Australia) in sparring and forms as an E Dan Kyo Sa (“E Dan”--second degree Midnight Blue “black” belt; “Kyo Sa” World Federation approval to teach in the art).
Clark holds two bachelor's degrees from UC Davis in philosophy and economics, respectively, and has a master's degree in apologetics from Biola and a master's degree in education from Chapman. Clark recently completed his PhD in educational studies from Biola.
Clark and his wife Kelly currently live in Cheney with their children Graham (11), Grace (10) and Joy (8).