Dr. Jon Clark was the head coach of the Rolla High School for the 1992-1996 school years. He left coaching in 1996: leaving his record at 99 wins.
Now this Thursday, Clark returns to the sidelines for his 100th win, coaching for the first time in 20 years.
“It just happened in passing…he told me he had 99 wins,” said Coach Jay Blossom about the inspiration. “It sounded like a cool idea.”
The game will follow the women’s Varsity basketball team game starting at 6 p.m. and will start at 7:30 p.m. Both teams face off against Rockwood Summit at Roberts Gym.
“I know they (the team) are excited,” said Blossom. “I think everybody is excited.”
“[The game] celebrates what he’s done for Webster,” said Coach Scott Stallcup. Stallcup has known Clark for the past 25 years and coached at Rolla and now teaches at WGHS with Clark.
Clark said, ”It’s a nice time to reflect [on] basketball in college and on [the] 27 past years.”
Clark started coaching as a graduate assistant coach at his university, then coached and taught math at St. James High. After that he continued to teach math and coach at Rolla High School.
Clark retired from coaching and became assistant principal at WGHS in 1996 and became principal in 2003.
Focusing on relationships is important to Clark as a coach and now as a principal.
“He gives you the freedom to do your job,” Coach Scott Gauthier, former player for Clark, said, “as a coach or a boss.”
Stallcup said Clark leads the same as a coach and as principal. “He lets you do your job,” he said. “People like working for him”
Clark always liked basketball. He played through high school and college, where he played for Northwest Missouri State.
“He was a really good basketball player when he was our coach,” said Gauthier “We would play against the coaches, and he would cream us every time.” Clark doesn’t show it, but he is an “extreme competitor,” according to Gauthier.
Clark’s favorite things about coaching are the first week of basketball and meeting goals: whether it’s winning a championship or building relationships, he said.
“He’s always really positive,” said Gauthier.
Clark recently recovered from brain surgery and is a cancer survivor.
See also: 100 wins for Clark: Principal to guest coach basketball game
See also: Principal returns from surgery