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After eight years at the helm of Shelby County boys’ basketball team, coach Mike Clark is stepping down.
Clark has accepted an assistant principal position at Martha Layne Collins High School, saying
the opportunity to become an administrator in this school district was too good to pass up. He will be one of three assistant principals.
“Clark proved he has the background and knowledge and capabilities as a great instructional leader for Collins High School,” Collins Principal Anthony Hatchell said.
Clark, a lifelong resident, played basketball for SCHS and graduated in 1991. He returned in 1996 after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University and was an assistant under Gary Kidwell and Curtis Turley, who was hired last week as the coach at Collins.
In his eight years as head coach, Clark led the Rockets to five district championships, three regional championships and one title in Lexington’s prestigious Fifth-Third Classic. The Rockets reached the state semifinals in 2008.
His teams averaged 20 victories per season, won 20 five times and 30 once, and several of his players have gone on to play in college under his coaching, most notably All-State guard A.J. Slaughter who this month finished a starring career at Western Kentucky.
“I was fortunate enough to work along side him seven out of the eight years as the girls coach,” Athletic Director Sally Zimmerman said. “He’s done a fine job with the program. It’s one of the elite programs in the state.”
Clark said he owes the success of the Rocket boys’ program to the players, coaching staff and community support.
“Our number one priority the day we took over our basketball program was to put the team back in the State Tournament,” he said. “That’s a goal we accomplished not once but three times in eight years.
“It’s very hard to leave behind such an outstanding program. I’m going to miss the relationships I developed over the years with our players, managers and assistant coaches. I’m also going to miss the excitement of winning and the day-to-day pursuit of excellence in practice.”
As an assistant principal, Clark will help Hatchell in all the daily operations of the school.
“I look forward to the next phase of my educational career at this point,” he said. “And I’d also like to thank our community for the support given to this basketball program over they years.
“Coaching at Shelby County High School has certainly been a very enjoyable journey.”