Former San Jose State track and cross country coach Marshall Clark dies at age 68

Marshall Clark coached at
San Jose State University from
1980 through 1988.
Marshall Clark, whose cross country and track and field coaching career in Northern California spanned five decades, died of an apparent heart attack on September 30 while training the Saratoga High School girls cross country team.

Clark, 68-years old, was a member of the San Jose State and Stanford University coaching staffs in track and field and cross country during the 1960’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s. He was the assistant track and field coach and head cross country coach at Stanford from 1968 through 1978 under the legendary Payton Jordan. Clark also started the Stanford women’s cross country program in 1977 which gained full varsity status in 1978.

Olympians Don Kardong, Duncan Macdonald and Tony Sandoval were three of the many Stanford athletes he coached.

After two years (1978-80) at the University of Montana as an assistant athletics director and head track and cross country coach, he returned to Northern California in 1980 as San Jose State University’s head coach for men’s cross country and the assistant coach for men’s track and field. Clark took over as head coach of both programs in 1984 until 1988 when the university decided to discontinue men’s track and field, men’s cross country, wrestling and women’s field hockey.

He remained with San Jose State University as an assistant athletics director for facilities and game management through June 1991. Clark was the assistant tournament director for the 1991 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships hosted by San Jose State at the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

After retiring from San Jose State, he coached the Saratoga High School boys and girls cross country and track and field teams until his death.

The native of Santa Monica, Calif., graduated from the University of Southern California in 1957 majoring in business. Clark was a three-year letterwinner in track and cross country and was a member of the Trojans’ 1955 NCAA championship track team. He went on to earn his master’s degree in education from USC in 1958.

Saratoga High School will host a memorial service, Saturday, October 12, at 4:00 p.m.