MINERS

Jim Clark
 Jim Clark

Position:
Safeties Coach

Alma Mater:
Washington State 2000

A member of the UTEP staff since 2004, Jim Clark is in his second season as the Miners' safeties coach. He served as the team's cornerbacks coach for the previous four years.

Clark coached two of UTEP's top four tacklers in 2008 - George Kelly, who finished with 65 stops despite starting only four games, and Josh Ferguson, who was credited with 56 takedowns. Ferguson also had 2.5 tackles for losses, eight pass break-ups and two forced fumbles while starting every game at right safety. Ferguson made 33 starts in a Miner uniform.

In addition, Anthony Morrow was so impressive while starting the first seven games of '08 at left safety that he was moved to linebacker for the final five contests.

Clark also coached Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, who played the hybrid linebacker/safety position, a year ago. Cromartie-Smith was an honorable mention All-Conference USA pick after ranking second on the squad with 77 tackles.

Clark's prized pupil in 2007 was sophomore Cornelius Brown, who was credited with 50 tackles, four interceptions and nine pass break-ups in his first year as a starter. Brown was a big reason why UTEP concluded the season tied for 20th nationally in turnovers gained (29) and tied for 21st in interceptions (18). In 2006 Clark was instrumental in the development of Bryant Tisdale and Ferguson, who combined for 118 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and four interceptions.

Clark's youthful cornerbacks made steady progress in 2005. Sir James Delgardo, Nate Draughon and Ferguson were inserted into the starting lineup for the first time and made the most of their opportunity, teaming to make 96 tackles with 22 pass breakups. Ferguson recorded two interceptions for 81 yards, scoring on a 62-yard pick versus Tulsa.

Clark coached two of the best corners in the Western Athletic Conference during his first year in the Sun City. Senior Adrian Ward earned first team All-Conference honors after totaling 59 tackles and 12 pass break-ups. Senior Jahmal Fenner was an honorable mention All-WAC selection after amassing 47 stops and eight deflections. Ward and Fenner combined to pick off nine passes as UTEP rated 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency defense (108.7 rating). Ward was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft by Minnesota. The Miners held five opponents to single-digit completions in 2004.

Clark is in his second tour of duty with head coach Mike Price at UTEP. He was a member of Price's staff at Washington State in 2001 and 2002. He stayed with the Cougars in 2003 after Price accepted the head coaching position at Alabama.

During his three years as a graduate assistant, Clark helped the Cougars to 30 victories and three bowl bids, including two bowl victories. He worked with the defensive backs.

He was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at West Valley High School in Hemet, Calif., from 1993-95. He tutored a quarterback who led the state in pass attempts, completions, yards and touchdown passes in 1995.

He also coached the quarterbacks at Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, Calif. from 1989-92, and Hamilton High School in Anza, Calif. from 1992-93.

He received his first coaching assignment at his alma mater, Hemet (Calif.) High School, from 1985-89. He was in charge of the quarterbacks and defensive backs.

Clark was a two-year starting quarterback at Mt. San Jacinto College. He received his bachelor's degree in social studies from Washington State in 2000. He earned a secondary education certificate a year later. He was a second team all-league quarterback and punter at Hemet High School. A two-year varsity letterwinner on the gridiron, he participated in golf and baseball as well.

Clark has a daughter, Alexis, and a son, Mitchell.