Bert Clark

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For other people named Bert Clark, see Bert Clark (disambiguation).
Bert Clark
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1930-02-12)February 12, 1930
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Died December 13, 2004(2004-12-13) (aged 74)
Katy, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
Playing career
Dallas - NFL
Calgary - CFL
Position(s) Linebacker - Center
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Arkansas - (ass't)
Washington - (ass't)
Washington State
New Mexico - (ass't)
Winnipeg - CFL - (ass't)
Head coaching record
Overall 15–24–1 (.388)
College Football Data Warehouse

Robert B. "Bert" Clark, Jr. (February 12, 1930 – December 13, 2004)[1] was an American football coach. He was the head coach at Washington State University for four seasons, from 1964 to 1967.

Early years[edit]

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Clark graduated from high school in 1948 and then played college football at University of Oklahoma under hall of fame coach Bud Wilkinson. He lettered on the varsity for three seasons from 1949 to 1951, as the Sooners posted records of 11-0, 10-1, and 8-2. Clark was a two-time All Big Eight linebacker who helped the Sooners capture the 1950 national title. After a brief stint with the Dallas Texas in the NFL in 1952 and a season with the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL in 1953, Clark served in the U.S. Army.

Assistant coach[edit]

Following his military service, he was an assistant coach for a season at University of Arkansas in 1956 under former Sooner Jack Mitchell, and then joined the staff of first-year head coach Jim Owens at the University of Washington in 1957. Owens and Clark were teammates at Oklahoma in their undefeated 1949 season.

Washington State[edit]

After seven seasons in Seattle with Owens at Washington, he was hired as head coach at Washington State in Pullman in January 1964;[2] his initial contract was a three-year deal for $16,500 per year.[3]

On the Palouse, he was near another former 1949 Sooner teammate, Dee Andros, who was in his third (and final) season as head coach of the Idaho Vandals, eight miles (13 km) to the east. Clark's first WSU team lost both rivalry games, expectedly to Washington in the Apple Cup, but unexpectedly to Idaho 28-13 in the Battle of the Palouse, the Vandals' first win the over the Cougars in a decade.[4]

His 1965 team was nicknamed "The Cardiac Kids" for their dramatic late-game comebacks against Iowa, Minnesota, Villanova, Indiana and Oregon State. It was also the only team in school history to defeat three Big Ten teams (Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana). The Cougars finished at 7-3, and beat Oregon and Oregon State, but lost to both Idaho and Washington for a second consecutive year. It was the first time the Cougars had lost two straight to the Vandals in forty years, done before a record-breaking crowd of 22,600 at Rogers Field.[5][6]

Following the 1965 season, Clark signed a new three-year contract, at $19,700 per year. Expectations were high for 1966, but the Cougars were 3-7 and nearly lost to Idaho for a third straight year in a sloppy mudbath at Neale Stadium in Moscow. Two fourth-quarter WSU touchdowns, one on a fumble return and another on a long run from scrimmage after a Vandal fumble saved the day for the Cougars, 14-7.[7][8] The Cougars were 1-3 in conference, with a win over Oregon and losses to California, Oregon State, and Washington.

The Cougars were winless through eight games in 1967, then thrashed Idaho 52-14 and squeaked by Washington 9-7 to finish at 2-8 and 1-5 in conference. Clark was fired in late November, with a season remaining on his contract.[9][10]

After Pullman[edit]

Clark coached at the University of New Mexico in 1968 as defensive coordinator to first-time head coach Rudy Feldman,[11] and went to the CFL in 1970 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers under new head coach Jim Spavital.[12] He later went into the investment business in Texas. Clark died in Katy, Texas, in December 2004 at the age of 74.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Washington State Cougars (AAWU/Pac-8) (1964–1967)
1964 Washington State 3–6–1 1–2–1 T-6th
1965 Washington State 7–3 2–1 3rd
1966 Washington State 3–7 1–3 T-6th
1967 Washington State 2–8 1–5 T-7th
Washington State: 15–24–1 5–11–1
Total: 15–24–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b - Led 'Cardiac Kids' in 1965 - 2004-12-17 - accessed 2012-03-28
  2. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Bert Clark named Cougar grid coach - 1964-01-14 - p.15
  3. ^ Spokesman-Review - WSU now 'arranging' new Clark contract - 1965-12-07 - p.12
  4. ^ Spokesman-Review -'Thunder Ray' leads Idaho's charge - 1964-10-25 - p.1-sports
  5. ^ Spokesman-Review - Charging Vandals defeat WSU 17-13 - 1965-10-03 - p.1-sports
  6. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Palouse back to normal; Idaho conquers Cougars - 1965-10-04 - p.17
  7. ^ Lewiston Morning Tribune - photos - Mud replaces turf in football's annual Battle of Palouse in Moscow - 1966-10-23 - p.14
  8. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - photo - Kennedy en route to a TD - 1966-10-24 - p.18
  9. ^ Lewiston Morning Tribune - Bert Clark parts company with Cougars; search on for successor - 1967-11-29 - p.10
  10. ^ Spokesman-Review - WSU begins search for new grid coach - 1967-11-29 - p.10
  11. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Clark gets aide's job - UPI - 1968-02-09 - p.11
  12. ^ Tri-City Herald - Bert Clark gets post - Associated Press - 1970-05-21 - p.32

External links[edit]