T&F adds 14 state champions, and a two-time All-American to roster
Cody Clark is entering his fourth season as the cross country coach at SFA, also working with the men's and women's distance programs during the track and field season.
The Merit, Texas, native was a standout distance runner in his five-year career with the Lumberjacks and served three years as an assistant coach from 2007-10.
His impact on the program upon his promotion to head cross country coach in 2011 was evident as he guided his athletes to 14 school records and had 11 All-SLC selections. Five times, one of his athletes brought home a league title, including Lauren Smith capturing the league's cross country championship and earning high-point scorer on the women's side at the SLC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2012. The women's team brought home the SLC Indoor and Outdoor titles the same year.
In addition, his athletes also picked up a pair of SLC Outstanding Track Performer nods. Adam Saloom made his way to the NCAA First Round qualifying meet after the outdoor season, and Randi Plentl was named the SLC Student-Athlete of the Year on the cross country side, all in Clark's first season at the helm.
In the fall of 2012, Clark led the women's cross country program to a Southland Conference Title. Smith and Xavier Rodriguez notched NCAA National Championship berths during the season, marking the first time a female has qualified since 2005 and a male since 2004. Smith highlighted a large list of decorated runners for SFA by taking home SLC Athlete of the Year honors for the second consecutive year. Clark was recognized for his first SLC Championship as a head coach with Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors.
The women swept cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field to clinch the SLC triple crown in 2012-13.
Last season, the men's cross country squad ran to a runner-up finish at the conference meet, for the highest team finish since 2008. Clark coached four All-SLC runners on the year - Laurie Byrd, Nick Guerra, Cody Brown and Anthony Gallardo. He guided the young men's team to a fourth place showing in the South Central Region which was the best result since 2003. Guerra won the SLC 10,000 meters last spring while both Gallardo and Jeff Weisheit qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships in the same event.
As an assistant, Clark helped guide a youthful SFA men's and women's cross country team to second-place finishes at the 2008 SLC Cross Country Championships. SFA finished the meet with four All-SLC honors, and Mitch Ownbey and Stephanie Ganter were named SLC Male and Female Athletes of the Year. The Ladyjacks followed that up with another second-place finish in 2009.
The SFA distance squads proved their strength during the 2009 track and field seasons. SFA recorded four individual titles, and seven all-conference finishes during the outdoor campaign. All told, the Ladyjack and Lumberjack distance runners recorded five individual titles, 10 all-conference performances, three regional marks, two school records and were key in helping the SFA women bring home both the SLC Indoor and Outdoor titles in 2009.
As an athlete at SFA, Clark won the 2005 SLC Cross Country championship and was named SLC Cross Country Athlete of the Year. He was a three-time All-SLC honoree overall.
In addition to his 2005 victory in cross country, Clark's career highlights include a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the 2006 SLC Indoor Championships and a second-place showing in the same event at the 2005 SLC Outdoor Championships.
Clark was a part of three-straight conference titles in cross country and a member of the 2003 team that finished third in regionals - the best finish in SFA school history.
After his three-year stint as an assistant coach at SFA and before taking the reigns in the fall of 2011, he spent the 2010-11 athletic year as head girl's track and field coach and head cross country coach at Waller High School where he led the WHS girls to the District 17-4A title.
Clark earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from SFA in May 2007 and a master's in secondary education in August 2009. He is married to Brionne Yosten, who is a volunteer coach at SFA.