Recently retired Baylor basketball coach Austin Clark was honored Saturday, Dec. 1 as the playing court in Duke Arena was dedicated as Austin Clark Court.
Clark announced his retirement as head coach last spring, although he retained his faculty position as assistant dean of students. HIs 36-year tenure currently ranks second among head varsity coaches in Baylor’s history. Only Hall of Fame baseball coach Gene Etter, who retired after 41 years, served longer as a head coach. Clark’s teams won 522 games while losing 411, qualified for the state tournament 15 times with six trips to the final four, and finished as state runner-up twice. He was recognized as the Chattanooga area’s Coach of the Year seven times and has been a recipient of the Scrappy Moore Coach of the Year award. Clark was named a TSSAA A.F. Bridges Coach of the Year and received the TSSAA Distinguished Service Award. He was inducted into the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame in the fall of 2017.
Headmaster Scott Wilson '75 officially dedicated the venue in a brief pre-game ceremony that included remarks from trustee Allen Carter '91, a former player for Clark. "Those of us who played for Coach Clark learned how to live, how to take care of people, love people, and respect people between these lines. This is where we learned it," said Carter. "Coach Clark made us into men."
Clark accepted the honor with humility. After thanking his wife and family, the Baylor administration, assistant coaches, and support staff throughout the years, Clark continued with remarks to his former players in attendance. "I want the players to hear this," said Clark. "You put a coach's name on the floor...it's not something I did. I counted over 300 varsity players over my career, and it is you that put my name there on the floor. Every time you look at that, you can say 'I put him there.' I didn't do it...we did it... together."