The Loyola Marymount men’s basketball team has hired Derrick Clark as an assistant coach, adding further NCAA Tournament experience to a coaching staff already stacked with veterans of the Division II powerhouse Metropolitan State University of Denver Roadrunners.
A former player and coach under LMU Head Coach Mike Dunlap, Clark joins the LMU staff with an 173-50 record as a Division II head coach. He led Metro State to five NCAA Division II tournaments, four Sweet 16 appearances, three trips to the Elite Eight, a pair of Final Four runs, and a trip to the national title game in 2012-13 following a 32-3 season.
"Derrick Clark brings exceptional experience with recruiting, coaching, and player development," said Dunlap. "Additionally, Derrick has played for and coached with me before, which is a tremendous advantage."
Clark’s teams won three consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles, going 90-11 overall and 61-5 in the RMAC, from 2012-15. In both of the seasons in which Clark led his team to the Final Four, he was named RMAC Coach of the Year (2013 and 2014).
Additionally, following the 2013 season, Clark was named Division II Bulletin National Coach of the Year and received his first of two consecutive NABC South Central Region Coach of the Year recognitions.
In 2013, he coached the consensus national player of the year, senior guard Brandon Jefferson, who broke Metro State's season records for scoring, scoring average, free throws and free throw percentage. In 2015, senior guard Mitch McCarron and junior forward Nicholas Kay were both named Academic All-Americans, becoming the first teammates to earn that honor in the same season at MSU Denver. McCarron was also an NCAA's Elite 89 Award winner with the top GPA at the Elite Eight.
Clark took over as Metro State Head Coach after current LMU assistant coach Brannon Hays left the position in 2010. For the past 20 seasons, dating back to when Dunlap took over the program in 1997, the Roadrunners have been led by one of LMU’s current coaches. In that stretch, Metro State went to 17 NCAA Tournaments, including six Final Four appearances and two National Championships.
Prior to Metro State, Clark served three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado. While with the Buffalos, Clark handled off-campus recruiting, opponent scouting, summer camps, and day-to-day operations. In his final season in Boulder, he helped CU improve from a 9-22 season in 2008-09 to a 15-16 finish in 2009-10, leading to Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik’s hiring as Wake Forest’s new head coach.
Bzdelik and Clark also teamed up together at the Air Force Academy, leading the Falcons to the Division I NCAA Tournament in 2005-06 and the National Invitational Tournament Final the following season. Air Force’s combined record was 50-16 (.758) during that stretch and 22-10 (.688) in the Mountain West Conference, both school records for a two-year span.
Prior to working at Air Force, Clark spent eight seasons in his first stint on Metro State’s coaching staff from 1997 through 2005, with the final five years as a full-time assistant coach under Dunlap. Under the guidance of Dunlap, the winningest coach in program history, the Roadrunners compiled a 227-40 (.850) record.
Clark and Dunlap first paired up at Cal Lutheran University, where Clark played under his future boss. In two seasons with the Kingsmen, Clark was named first team all-conference, led Cal Lutheran to a pair of NCAA Division III Sweet 16 appearances, and earned his bachelor’s degree.
Before beginning his coaching career, Clark played for the Shepparton Gators, a professional team in Australia from 1995-97. He led the Victorian Basketball League in scoring, was the league's Defensive Player of the Year and finished in the top five in rebounding. Clark was also a member of the VBL all-star team and finished second in the league's MVP voting. While in Shepparton, he organized and ran various after-school basketball clinics.
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Clark graduated from Foothill High School. He is married to the former Laurie Wilbur and the couple has twins, Isaiah and Alexis.
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