GBL 5K Honorary Starter for 2019

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Coach Merle Clark

Each year we honor an individual who has had a great impact in our community. Coach Merle Clark former PHS and Pitt State football player, PHS head coach, teacher and golf coach has agreed to be our 5K Run Official Starter.

Merle was born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas. He and wife Kathy have raised their children (Jennifer/Jason) and now retired, travel to Hays and Topeka, Kansas to visit their 3 grandsons.  After a successful Pitt State linebacker career, Coach Clark practiced dentistry before finding his passion for teaching and coaching football/golf for 27 years at Pittsburg High School.

When asked to recall a truly memorable moment in his 12 year head coaching career, Coach recalled the PHS season of 2000 (Dylan also happened to be the quarterback). After a close loss early in the season that left the Dragons record at 3-3, he challenged the players and coaches to rise up and continue their quest for a state championship.  They proceeded to win out and wound up tied at half time with the heavily favored Salina South team in the Class 5A championship game. Although they lost a heart breaker 16-13 that day: Coach Merle concluded that “the feeling of those players, trusting one another and their coaches against some pretty long odds that year is something I will never forget.”

Thank you Coach Clark for your lifelong service to our community as a coach, teacher and mentor to many PHS students.