Coach Clark calls the defense with head coach Al Starnes
standing behind him.
After more than 22 seasons coaching football, the Rockets’ defensive coordinator says he’s hanging up the whistle.
Clark, 45, came to Crittenden County in 1991 after helping start the football program at Grant County a year earlier. For the Rockets, he built a foundation for one of the best defenses in western Kentucky, especially among small schools.
He was defensive coordinator at Crittenden from 1996 through 2000 and then again from 2005 until last fall. Over those 14 seasons, Clark’s defenses were stingy, holding opponents to no more than one touchdown in 49 games and recording 14 shutouts.
“I’ve loved coaching Crittenden County kids and football taught me a great deal about life when I was growing up,” said Clark, who graduated from Green County High School in 1985 and met his future wife, Alicia Howard, a Crittenden Countian, while the two were attending college at Eastern Kentucky University.
“It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to coach football, and I need to keep some balance with my administrative duties for our district,” Clark said.
Clark is instructional supervisor for grades 6-12 and district personnel director. He said education reform initiatives in Kentucky have added more to his workload, and he wants to spend more time with his wife, perhaps traveling. They have raised two sons in Marion, Dylan and Devin. Devin is completing his senior year at CCHS where he was all-district in football and basketball.
“This has been a thoughtful and careful decision,” Clark said. “It’s hard to let go of something that you’re so invested in. But life changes, kids graduate, careers expand and time becomes more precious. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have coached here.”
In addition to coaching football almost every year he spent in the Crittenden County School System, Clark also was head baseball coach from 1992 through 1995 and again in 2010. His teams won district championships in 1993 and 2010.
In the classroom, Clark was a math teacher before joining the administrative team as principal at the middle school from 2001 through 2006.
Rocket head coach Al Starnes said Clark’s contributions to the Rocket football program have been many and he will be sorely missed.
“Vince and I came to Crittenden together in 1991. We both have made this community our home. His dedication to this program cannot be matched by anyone,” Starnes said.
Starnes said their mutual respect and trust have helped them grow as coaches and that Clark was very well thought of by all his players.
“He took pride in coordinating the defense. He was not going to let an opposing coach outwork him,” Starnes said. “On behalf of the former players, managers and coaches of the past 22 years, we say thank you coach Clark.”