Tom Clark enters his third season as William and Mary's defensive backs coach and was promoted to special teams coordinator last spring.
Clark has made a tremendous impact on the Tribe’s defensive secondary during the past two seasons, as he has developed a pair of All-Americans – cornerback B.W. Webb and free safety Jerome Couplin III – who have gone on to play in the NFL. After competing at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, Webb was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, while Couplin signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions last spring.
In addition to the All-America honors, four Tribe standouts have combined to earn five all-conference accolades during the past two seasons under Clark’s tutelage.
While the individual success has been impressive, the Tribe has also thrived collectively since Clark’s return to Williamsburg. The 2013 edition of the Tribe established itself as one of the nation’s top defenses and ranked second in the country in scoring defense (14.0), eighth in total defense (305.5), 11th in pass efficiency defense (107.4), 13th in rushing defense (118.1) and 15th in third down conversion defense (33.0). W&M also recorded a pair of shutouts last fall en route to posting the third-best scoring defense average in school history (since playing full 11-game schedules).
“We are extremely fortunate to have a coach with Tom’s experience and expertise on our staff,” Laycock said at the time of Clark’s promotion last spring. “He has made tremendous contributions to our defense during the past two seasons, and I expect he’ll have just as much impact overseeing our special teams units.”
Clark's recruiting areas include North Central Virginia, Frederick Maryland, East Maryland, Washington, D.C., Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.
Clark began his second stint at W&M in 2012 after previously serving as the team's defensive coordinator from 2001-03. Prior to rejoining the Tribe, he served as Liberty's defensive coordinator for six seasons. During his tenure with the Flames, his defenses consistently ranked among the nation's best. Liberty posted top-25 national rankings in scoring defense in four of his six seasons, while he helped the Flames establish numerous team defensive single-season school records. In 2006, Clark's defensive corps set eight team single-season records, including fewest points allowed (172), most shutouts (3) and fewest touchdowns allowed (21). That fall, LU ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense by allowing just 15.6 points per game.
In addition to the impressive statistical rankings LU's defensive units achieved under Clark's watch, the Flames earned winning records in each of his six seasons in Lynchburg, posting an overall record of 47-20 and a 26-6 mark in the Big South. During that span, Liberty claimed four conference titles and finished each of his last three seasons ranked among the nation's top 25.
In addition to the team's success at LU, a number of players flourished individually under his tutelage as he coached 24 all-league selections and a pair of honorable mention All-Americans.
Clark joined Liberty's staff after serving his second stint as head coach at Catholic in Washington, D.C. He coached Cardinals in 2004-05 after previously leading CU from 1994-2000. During his first seven years at Catholic, Clark led the program to a 56-14-1 overall record, which stands as one of the best seven-year runs in Division III history (.792 winning percentage). Additionally, he helped guide the Cardinals to three consecutive playoff appearances (1997, 1998 and 1999). Individual accolades accumulated for his players as well, with nine standouts earning All-America honors during his first seven years at CU.
Between his two head coaching stints at Catholic, Clark served as William and Mary's defensive coordinator for three seasons (2001-03), helping the Tribe earn a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference championship in 2001.
Clark's other coaching jobs include head coach and athletic director at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md. (1988-93), graduate assistant coach for the secondary at Colorado (1987-88), assistant coach for the secondary at Catholic (1985-86) and assistant coach at St. John's College Prep in Washington, D.C. (1983-84).
Clark is a native of the Washington, D.C., area and earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Maryland in 1986. Clark and his wife, Laurie, have two children, Kevin and Samantha.