The 2014-15 campaign marks Doug Clark's sixth season in command of the distance runners for the Tigers track and field/cross country program. This fall, Memphis' cross country squads look to improve on the teams' successful 2013 campaign.
Clark's cross country teams continued to make significant strides during the 2013 season. The men's squad placed third at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship. Senior James Maglasang and junior Dan Kuhman were the top-two finishers with Maglasang taking third and Kuhman finishing 11th. Each earned All-American Athletic Conference honors for their top-15 performances. The overall team finish was the program's best at a league postseason event since the 1985 squad placed third at the Metro Conference Championships.
The Tigers finished the season with a total of four top-five team finishes, picking up a win at the Rhodes College Invitational for the fourth-straight year. The squad capped off the 2013 campaign placing 15th at the NCAA South Regional Championship.
On the women's side, a young squad continued to develop as the season progressed. The Lady Tigers had their best showing at the Rhodes College Invitational placing third overall, the third-straight season to score a top-five finish at the annual 6K meet. Freshman Martina Rodriguez was the top-finisher for the Lady Tigers taking sixth overall. Rodriguez also earned all-conference honors with her 15th place finish of 21:27.01 on the 6K course.
In 2013, the cross country program also earned academic distinctions with both the men's and women's squads earning United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Teams status for the third year in a row. The women's and men's teams posted a 3.68 and a 3.14 GPA, respectively. Among the 217 Division I women's teams to receive the honor, the Lady Tigers were tied for sixth.
During the 2014 indoor and outdoor track and field season, Clark's athletes earned a combined six all-conference nods. At the inaugural American Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship, Fabian Fiege took silver in the 800m earning all-conference honors. As a member of the 4 x 400m relay team, Fiege and Godfrey Fayne took silver earning Clark's group two more all-conference citations. In the 5,000m, Dan Kuhman set a new program-record of 14:46.39 taking seventh place to score overall points for the men's team in their fourth place overall conference finish.
On the women's side of indoor competition, two of Clark's runners scored points at the conference championship. In the 800m, Senior Jenny Johnston took fifth with freshman Martina Rodriguez taking sixth to add to the team's overall total.
At the American Outdoor Championship, two of Clark's runners earned all-conference status and scored significant points in Memphis' second place conference finish. Fiege took silver in the 800m scoring team points and earning all-conference honors. In the 1,500m, Austin Carter earned all-conference status winning Bronze. In two other notable team scoring efforts at the meet, Dan Kuhman took fourth in the 10,000m, Aiden Galasso took eighth in the 10,000m and Julien Wolf took fourth in the 1,500m to increase the men's overall point tally.
In women's outdoor competition, the Lady Tigers were led by Johnson again in the 800m at the American Outdoor Championship with her sixth place finish. Under Clark's tutelage, Johnson recorded five top-10 finishes in the 800m, with two those being second place finishes, in her final year of competition. Memphis' women's young distance runners including, Rodriguez and Julia Merbach, all made significant gains throughout the outdoor season proving yet another credit to Clark's skill as a coach.
Clark joined the Memphis track and field/cross country staff in 2009 with an impressive resume. Overall, Clark has coached All-Americans in cross country, 1500m, mile, 3000m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m and distance medley relay. He has also coached an NCAA individual champion in the 3000m steeplechase and an Olympian in the 1500m.
Before moving to the Bluff City, Clark spent nine years at Kansas. In his final five seasons with the Jayhawks, Clark coached four cross country All-Americans. Clark's cross country squads posted top-20 finishes at the 2005 (12th) and 2006 (20th) NCAA Championships.
From 2004-06 in Lawrence, Clark coached three-consecutive Big 12 individual champions from 2004-06 (Benson Chensang in 2004-05 and Colby Wissel in 2006). He also guided Charlie Gruber to a second-place finish in the 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Trials, earning the Kansas alum a 1500m spot on the USA Olympic Team.
Prior to Kansas, Clark was an assistant coach at Tulsa from 1994-2000. While at Tulsa, Clark's athletes set school records in the 800m, 1000m, 1500m, mile, 3000m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, distance medley relay and 4x800m relay. Clark coached distance runner Dwight Davis, who posted a 3:59.29 mile time to become the Golden Hurricane's first NCAA All-American.
In 1994 at UTEP, Clark assisted the Miners to a third-place team finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and a national runner-up team performance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. That same year, Clark coached Jim Svenoy to the 3000m steeplechase crown at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a runner-up finish in the 3000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Clark began his coaching career at Arkansas as a volunteer assistant coach, before being promoted to a full-time assistant in 1991. With Clark on staff, the Razorbacks swept the nine NCAA Championships in cross country (three), indoor track (three) and outdoor track (three) -- commonly referred to as the "NCAA Triple Crown" -- in the 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94 academic years.
As the Arkansas recruiting coordinator, Clark helped assemble one of the most dominant programs in the history of collegiate track and field/cross country, producing more than two dozen All-Americans.
A 1981 graduate of Central Missouri State University, Clark was an NCAA cross country qualifier. He also was a 1980 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, posting a time of 2:17:40. Clark was the top Master's runner in Oklahoma from 1996-2000, recording times of 14:58/5k, 25:45/8k and 31:41/10k. Clark still competes in his spare time, posting at 5K time of 17:17.00 in the summer of 2013.