Joetta Clark Diggs

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Joetta Clark Diggs
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Women's track and field
Pan American Junior Athletics Championships
Gold 1980 Sudbury 800 metres

Joetta Clark Diggs has been running for more than 28 consecutive years never missing an indoor or outdoor season, with her races being in the 800 meters and 1500 meters. An Olympian in 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000, she has competed in every outdoor USA Championships or Olympic trials since 1979, winning five of the last eight. Indoors, she has been in the national championship race in 18 of the last 19 years. Clark Diggs has ranked among the top 10 Americans for 21 years now. Clark Diggs has been ranked in the top 10 in the world since 1991. Moreover, in 1997 at age 37, she was ranked number four in the world. This was her best ranking.

A highly sought-after motivational and inspiration speaker, and the daughter of Jetta Clark and noted educator Dr. Joe Clark, the subject of the movie, '“Lean on Me'”, Joetta has continued to use her talents and unique experiences in sports, marketing, consulting and public speaking to provide services to her community, state and nation. As President of Joetta Sports & Beyond, LLC, Joetta delivers messages of health, fitness and empowerment to corporations, colleges, medical programs and civic organizations. She is the author of Joetta’s “P” Principles for Success, “Life Lessons Learned From Track & Field” and the Executive Director of the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, which promotes involvement with physical activities for school-aged children and provides opportunities for children in the sports and entertainment industry.

Coached by Terry Crawford at the University of Tennessee, Clark Diggs left Knoxville with nine collegiate titles (including relays) and a degree in public relations. Later she added a graduate degree in recreation administration. Like her father, she works the lecture circuit.

Clark Diggs was coached by her brother, J.J. Clark, who is the women’s coach at the University of Tennessee. J.J. also coached two other 800m runners: his wife, Jearl Miles-Clark, and his younger sister, Hazel Clark. Jearl and Joetta were both ranked #1 and #2 in America at a time. This Clark Team is known as the First Family of Track & Field because of their 800m dominance.

Joetta is not just a runner. In June of 1997, she was appointed by a Governor as one of eight commissioners of the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, where she is responsible for helping to ensure that the Meadowlands Sports Complex continues to serve as a national and international model for sports, racing entertainment and exposition industries. Joetta was chosen as Sports Illustrated Hometown Hero for her work with youth, and in 1998 she also received the Visa Humanitarian award for her involvement with children. In October, Clark Diggs received the New Jersey Pioneer Women of the 90′s Award. Moreover, because of her longevity, and consistency, she is considered by sports enthusiasts as “America’s most successful middle distance runner” ever.


Inducted in to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2013

  • Author, Joetta’s “P” Principles for Success
  • Selected by the Star Ledger, which is NJ’s State’s Paper
  • As the Women Athlete of the Century
  • 2000 Women Olympic Team Captain
  • Inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame 2009
  • Inducted into Penn Relays Hall of Fame – 2004
  • Inducted into the University of Tennessee’s Hall of Fame
  • Chosen as Sports Illustrated Hometown Hero
  • Received the VISA Humanitarian Award
  • Undefeated in the 800m all four years while at Columbia HS
  • 15- time All American
  • 9-Time NCAA Champion
  • 11-Time USA National Champion
  • Selected to Who’s Who of American Women – 2000
  • Received New Jersey Pioneer of the 90’s Award
  • Inducted into Millrose Games Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden – 2002
  • Featured on MSNBC News Broadcast
  • Featured on CNN
  • Featured in Jet Magazine
  • Featured in Women’s Sports and Fitness Magazine
  • Featured Documentary on Madison Square Garden Network
  • Distinguished Honoree Award-Somerset County Commission on Status of Women – 2001
  • Received Key to the City of Newark – 1990
  • New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Distinguished Award – 2001
  • Rolling Hills Girl Scouts Women of Achievement Award
  • Board Member of the Raritan Valley Community College 2001
  • Board Member of the Business Partnership of Somerset County


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