Clarksville, Ark.-Former Heber Springs High School Coach Jimmy Clark has been named the new head baseball coach at the Uof O.
Clark, a native of Conway, has coached at Class AAA powerhouse Heber Springs High School the past nine years and led the Panthers to four conference championships during that time. Clark was named the 2AAA Conference Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1998. "I’m looking forward to this because I’ve always wanted to coach in college," said Clark. "This provided me with an opportunity to coach at the college level. I will also be closer to my family." Clark was the head coach of the West All-Stars in the 1998 Arkansas Activities Association’s annual East-West All-Star game and an assistant coach in 1996 and 2001. Heber Springs had its best season in 1998 when the Panthers reached the semifinals of the state tournament and finished the year ranked No. 3 in class AAA. In 2001, Heber Springs won the regional championship and reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The Panthers have won 155 games over the last nine years under Clark. Clark has developed several players into collegiate prospects and is considered a pitching and defensive expert. "We will play good, solid fundamental defense and focus on our pitching," said Clark. "On offense we will use our speed to manufacture runs. We have to be able to score some runs and then protect our lead." Clark, 34, received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from University of Central Arkansas and his master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He played collegiate baseball at UCA as a pitcher where he was a two-time Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference All-Star and a four-year starter. "I’m real happy that Jimmy and his family will join our athletic department," said athletics director Jack Jones. "Jimmy has had a lot of success in his coaching career and brings in a great deal of leadership. He stresses the importance of fundamentals and the value of a college education. His Arkansas connections have helped him develop strong recruiting ties across the state. We feel he is a perfect fit for the university." Clark and his wife, Kelli, have two sons, Dax (4) and Cole (4 months).