Gary Glenn “Coach” Clark, 77, of Pinehurst died peacefully on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at First Health Hospice House after a long fight with vascular disease and renal failure.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Phyllis; their son, Sean Clark, of San Ramon, CA, and his wife Danica; their two grandchildren, Miranda Clark, 16, and Mason Clark, 13; their daughter, Shannon Clark DeHerrera, also of San Ramon and her husband, David; his brother, Craig Clark, of Spanaway, WA, and his wife Jeannine; and two nephews, Chris and Casey Clark and their families. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Loyd and Margaret Clark of Edmonds, WA, and his in-law’s Charles and Josephine Hibberd of Fremont, CA, and Pinehurst.
Gary was born in Seattle, WA and raised in Edmonds, WA, where he graduated from Edmonds High School after excelling in football, basketball, and track. Upon graduation he received a football scholarship to the University of Washington where he was a wide receiver. Gary played on the victorious 1961 Rose Bowl team against the University of Minnesota. He signed with the Denver Broncos where he played one preseason before returning to the University of Washington to complete his Bachelor’s Degree, which he received in March 1964. While finishing his degree, he served as a graduate assistant football coach the fall of 1963 and went to the 1964 Rose Bowl.
In August 1964, Gary packed his bags, loaded his blue 1961 Thunderbird and headed for Hayward, CA, where he had a job teaching and coaching at Hayward High School. He was an assistant football coach and head track coach that first year. He became the head football coach in 1965 and remained so for 29 years. He taught physical education, gymnastics and English and continued to coach track, eventually becoming the Athletic Director and PE Department Head.
Gary received numerous honors during his coaching career including Coach of the Year and Winner of 100 Games. He was proud to have won championships in four different decades. He had numerous players who went on to play college and professional football including Jack Del Rio (former Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders), Dennis Braggonier (San Francisco 49ers), Jeff Barnes (Oakland Raiders), and Eric Lane (Seattle Seahawks).
In 1965 he met and married his wife of almost 53 years, Phyllis Hibberd Clark. The Clarks lived in the East Bay communities of Hayward, Pleasanton, and Danville, California for 35 years before retiring to Pinehurst, NC, in 2000 where they resided at Pinewild Country Club.
Gary became an avid golfer after moving to Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, CA, in 1977. He loved to dance and was very good at it. After football games he would meet Phyllis at the Club and wind down dancing until the band stopped playing. While at Crow Canyon, he served on the Greens Committee, coached the junior golf team and ran the “Derby” every Wednesday evening during the summer. When they moved to Pinewild he enjoyed golfing with various groups and his wife until he was unable to play in July 2015. He loved to play friendly games, but also loved playing in various tournaments at both clubs.
He enjoyed traveling with his wife after he retired from coaching football. They traveled more than 25,000 miles searching the United States for a place to retire before choosing Pinewild in Pinehurst. Then, the Clarks toured the East Coast and New England and cruised the Carribean, Mediterranean, and Northern Europe. One of his favorite vacations was taking his grandchildren to see Washington, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the Wright Brothers Memorial before bringing them home to Pinehurst.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Pinewild Country Club on Monday, July 16, 2018 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Health Hospice & Palliative Care at 150 Applecross Road, Pinehurst 28374, or the charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst is serving the family.