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Michael K. Clark

When Mike Clark was a freshman he was asked to write down his career football goals. He wrote down that he wanted to be the best tailback ever at The University of Akron. That is exactly what the 5-9, 175 pound Clark became during his three seasons. Clark had his doubters who said he was not big enough or fast enough, however, those individuals underestimated the size of Clark¹s heart. It did not start well for the freshman from Cleveland St. Joseph High School who did not touch the football in 1983. Instead, he watched senior James Black run the ball 351 times for 1568 yards. The determined Clark succeeded Black in the Zip backfield, earning first team All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) honors and Associated Press (AP) honorable mention All-America, as he had a team-leading 1,172 yards rushing. He repeated those same honors in 1985 by compiling 1,471 yards rushing. Clark saved his best performance for his senior campaign. Voted team captain, the Jackson, MS native ran for an OVC and UA record-breaking 1,786 yards to rank him number two in the NCAA I AA. Clark is the only UA back to ever rush for over a 1,000 yards for three seasons and is the only Zip gridder to be named first team All-OVC three times. His 1986 performance earned him the OVC¹s Offensive Player of the Year Award and first team All-America by the AP. All told, Clark rushed for 4,429 career yards, gained over 100 yards in 24 of his 33 career games and established 12 new UA records and two NCAA marks. Needless to say, Clark was voted UA¹s Male Athlete of the Year for 1986-87 and was a 1996 inductee into UA¹s Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted 1998 | Football