Alma Women’s Coach takes MBB job

After guiding the Alma College women’s basketball team to its best season in nearly two decades, Ryan Clark has accepted the offer to become the head coach of the men’s basketball program, as announced by Director of Athletics Steven Rackley on Monday (April 22). Clark will assume the position immediately.

“I’m very happy to have Ryan lead our men’s basketball program,” said Rackley. “Ryan has proven to be quite a capable coach over the course of this tenure here. His players respect him, his peers admire him, and he is held in high regard in the department. I am confident his success will continue in this new role and we’re fortunate it’s happening here at Alma.”

Clark has spent the last 13 months as the head coach of Alma’s women’s basketball program. In one year at the helm, the Scots had their best season in 16 years, posting a 15-12 overall record — the most wins in a season since 2002-03 — and a 9-7 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association record. The Scots earned the fourth seed in the MIAA tournament and reached the conference semifinals for the first time since 2006 where it fell to eventual champion Trine.

Clark had previously been the assistant men’s basketball coach at Alma College since 2012 under former head coach Sam Hargraves. While holding that position, Clark oversaw drastic improvements in the program, culminating in a 24-7 season in 2015-16 in which the Scots made it to the NCAA Sectional Championship and was ranked the nation’s sixth-best team in Division III by by the season’s end. Alma improved its league record in each of Clark’s first four seasons and broke program records that had been in place for over 15 years such as most wins in a season and appearances in the MIAA postseason tournament.

Seven Alma players have been named to the MIAA First- or Second-Teams during Clark’s Alma College tenure, including Scott Nikodemski, who was a National Association of Basketball Coaches and All-American, MIAA Most Valuable Player and two-time First-Team selection.

Collegiately, Clark played four years of varsity basketball for Kalamazoo College, contributing mostly as a shooting guard and small forward. A 2011 graduate, Clark ranks second for the most three-point field goals made in a season and is third all-time for three-pointers made in a career. He was a two-time All-MIAA Second Team selection, amassing over 1,000 points during his career.

A native of Leslie, Mich., Clark now resides in St. Louis with his dog, Hank.

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