John Clark, the Sacred Heart University men’s wrestling coach, is continuing his education by completing a Master of Arts: Sports Communication and Media (SCM) – Sports Broadcasting program at Sacred Heart.
According to Sacred Heart Athletics, Clark was a 2004 graduate at Ohio State University (OSU). He was a two-time All-American selection and qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship every four years. He was fourth all-time in Ohio State history with 134 matches won and ranked third at OSU with 486 takedowns.
Clark broke the coaching ranks in August 2005 at Stanford University before moving to Lehigh University to become a volunteer assistant for the 2006-2007 season. He then spent the next six years as the assistant head coach at Brown University. In July 2017, Clark was named the head coach of the Sacred Heart wrestling team.
One of Clark’s goals is to win the NCAA Championship.
“I want to win the NCAA Championship and that’s the goal. We end every practice here at Sacred Heart by saying ‘NCAA Champs,’” said Clark.
Clark enjoys coaching the SHU wrestling team, and he enthusiastically takes on the challenge of competing against the best schools in the country at the Division I level.
“I enjoy seeing the progress, and the mantra I have with the team is, ‘All I ask for is improvement,’” said Clark.
Clark’s biggest challenge is being able to fit everything into a 24-hour window. Besides having a busy schedule, he has a two-hour commute to SHU from Rhode Island.
“It has been a very busy start of an academic year for sure. I am currently coaching two teams, going to graduate school, and I just finished writing a book,” said Clark.
Clark is currently taking classes at Sacred Heart while coaching the wrestling team. The class he is taking is Sports Media Production (CM-555) with Professor Brian Thorne. After an eight-week module, he will then take Studio Sports Broadcasting (CM-561).
According to the School of Communications Media and the Arts website, the Master’s program in Sports Communication and Media has academic and professional tracks in Sports Broadcasting and Athletic Communications and Promotions.
The curriculum for an SCM student includes a combination of sports media history and theory, single camera production, editing, live-event broadcasting, television studio production, and hands-on practicum and internship experiences.
“I have always had a passion for photography and film, and this Master’s degree falls directly in line with a lot of my interests,” said Clark.
Before taking these classes at SHU, Clark had a goal for his future: he wanted to become a full-time Assistant Athletic Director and also a wrestling coach. His boss, Mike Guastelle, was able to do both before becoming a full-time administrator.
“My college coach was able to be a broadcaster for NBC and he worked numerous Olympic games in addition to being a head coach,” said Clark. “I want to broadcast in the Olympics one day, and these classes are going to prepare me for that.”
Clark also wants to be able to make the highlight video at the end of the year for the team by using the skills that he learned about editing film through the graduate program. However, his ideas for the future do not stop there.
“I am happy we can offer women’s wrestling while improving the men’s team as well,” said Clark. “I will oversee both wrestling programs and we will begin to develop a Regional Training Center in the spring so that we can build our program even further. I want there to be opportunities to win National, Olympic and World Titles right here in Fairfield, CT.”