Academy of Art University Director of Athletics Brad Jones has announced Jesse Clark as the new head coach of the Urban Knights women’s basketball program. Familiar with the Pacific West Conference from his time with Point Loma and coming off a two-year stint on staff at UC San Diego, Clark brings over 25 seasons of collegiate coaching experience into his role at ART U.
“We are thrilled to announce Jesse as our head women’s basketball coach,” Jones said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion, and effective leadership qualities to our program. We are looking forward to the future with Jesse leading our women’s basketball program.”
Clark joined the UCSD women’s basketball staff in the summer of 2021 and would transitioned into the role of director of operations prior to the 2022-23 season, handling scheduling, equipment, camps, and other responsibilities. The Tritons won 13 games each of his two years and garnered a total of six All-Big West honors highlighted by two-time honoree Sydney Brown.
Before his time with UC San Diego, Clark spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Point Loma women’s basketball where he was involved with every phase of the program, including recruiting, scouting, and the development of post players. After the Sea Lions won their last 13 straight PacWest contests for a 19-11 record in their 2018-19 campaign, they finished 18-11 in 2019-20, and were again above .500 at 8-6 in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season. During his tenure, five All-PacWest Team honors were awarded to PLNU including three to Cara Liggins.
“The opportunity to lead the women’s basketball program at the Academy of Art University is something very special,” Clark said. “I would like to first thank President Stephens, our Director of Athletics Brad Jones, and the entire search committee for entrusting me with the leadership of this program. In addition, I am so grateful to my partner Jen and son Jacob for their support. Finally, I am very thankful and honored to have been mentored by so many wonderful colleagues and the support of former players who have been instrumental throughout my professional journey.”
Prior to joining the Sea Lions, Clark served as an assistant coach at San Diego State. One of his main roles with the Aztecs was as a scheduler and he would secure SDSU games against 22 postseason teams including South Carolina, Michigan, and Washington. He also oversaw the play of First-Team All-Mountain West performer Cierra Warren who, in 2013-14, led the conference with a .544 field-goal percentage (31st in the nation) and was the Aztecs’ leading scorer that year, averaging 15.4 points per game to go along with a team-high 42 blocked shots.
During Clark’s six-year stint with Saint Mary’s ahead of his role with SDSU, the Gaels compiled 112 victories and made four consecutive trips to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, capped by a quarterfinal appearance in his final season. He coached five All-West Coast Conference performers, including Jackie Nared, who led the league in scoring during the 2012-13 campaign.
Prior to his arrival at SMC, Clark served as director of video operations at Stanford, where he was responsible for film exchange, game editing, scouting, and analysis. Clark also spent two years at the University of San Francisco (2003-05) and one season at Cal State Bakersfield (2002-03) that saw the Road Runners crowned NCAA DII West Region and CCAA Champions en route to reaching the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
Clark entered the coaching ranks in 1996 as an assistant at his alma mater Pacific Union College where he also doubled as assistant athletic director and sports information director. In 1997, he was elevated to head coach, leading the Pioneers to three California Pacific Conference Tournament appearances in five seasons.
After playing collegiately for PUC, Clark received a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Pacific Union in 2003.D2 PacWest