Associate head coach • 4 seasons • Roswell, Ga • georgia
Jay Clark enters his fifth season as associate head coach at LSU in 2017, and his impact has been felt far and wide in his first four seasons with the Tigers.
With the help of Clark’s leadership and expertise in collegiate gymnastics, LSU has earned the best performance in school history as the NCAA Runner-Up in 2016, appearances in the NCAA Super Six in 2013, 2014, and 2016, produced two NCAA individual national titles, captured four NCAA regional team titles and tallied numerous school records.
His work with the Fighting Tigers of LSU has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Clark was named the Central Region Co-Assistant Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with fellow LSU assistant Bob Moore, in his first three seasons with the team.
Clark also earned the 2014 National Co-Assistant Coach of the Year award, along with Moore, and it marked the second time in his distinguished coaching career he has garnered the nation’s top award.
Clark carries a wealth of championship experience and recruiting prowess in collegiate gymnastics, and he has shown the ability to help programs reach the highest level throughout his coaching career.
Highly regarded as one of the nation’s best recruiters, Clark serves as recruiting coordinator at LSU, and he assists in coaching every event for the Tigers with an emphasis on uneven bars.
In his four seasons at LSU, Clark has coached the Tigers to 14 All-America honors on bars, four Top-10 bars team scores in school history and the top two bars title winners in LSU history. Sarie Morrison captured a school-record 28 bars titles, and Rheagan Courville won 19 bars title to rank first and second in school history. Both put up record numbers under Clark’s guidance.
For the third-consecutive season, LSU earned a Top-5 national ranking on bars in 2016 with an average score of 49.252. Sarah Finnegan, Myia Hambrick and Lexie Priessman combined to tally four All-America honors during the historic season. Hambrick also earned All-SEC honors on bars after finishing second with a 9.925.
The Tigers posted a Top 5 national ranking on bars in 2015, and the team totaled the second-highest bars total in school history with a 49.600 against Iowa. The Tigers also accumulated the second-best season average on bars in school history with a 49.288 average.
As a team LSU produced four All-America honors on bars in 2015 with three gymnasts (Rheagan Courville, Randii Wyrick, Shae Zamardi) earning First-Team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. It marked the first time in program history that three gymnasts secured First-Team All-America honors on bars in one season.
The 2014 season was arguably the finest in LSU history as the Tigers earned the best finish in program history by taking third place in the NCAA Super Six, and Clark played a prominent role in the Tigers’ success throughout the year.
Under Clark’s direction, LSU shattered the school record with a 49.330 average on bars and finished the 2014 season ranked No. 5 nationally in the event. In addition, the Tigers tallied three of the top-10 bars scores in school history, including a 49.600 that ranks as the second best, and LSU produced three All-America honors on bars.
Clark coached Courville to a First-Team All-America honor at the 2014 NCAA Championships, and Courville went on to finish fifth in the event at the NCAA Individual Finals.
LSU reached the Super Six in the 2013 season, and under Clark’s guidance the Tigers finished the season with a 49.260 regional qualifying score on bars, the highest final RQS in that event since the 2009 season.
Clark coached Morrison and Wyrick to First-Team All-America honors on bars in his first season with the Tigers, and it marked the first season LSU produced at least two All-Americans on bars since 2010.
Under Clark’s tutelage, Morrison shattered the single-season school record by winning 12 bars titles in 2013, breaking the previous record of nine bars titles by Susan Jackson in 2010.
Because of his recruiting success, ESPNU and ESPN the Magazine selected Clark as the ninth-best recruiter in all of collegiate athletics in 2011.
Before Clark joined LSU he spent 20 seasons at the University of Georgia where he helped guide the Gym Dogs to seven NCAA National Titles and 14 Southeastern Conference Championships.
Clark primarily coached bars at Georgia, and he coached the Gym Dogs to 64 All-America honors and seven NCAA individual national titles on bars, including two-time champions Courtney Kupets and Kat Ding.
From 2009-12, Clark served as the head coach at Georgia, and during that time the Gym Dogs captured three NCAA individual national championships, won the 2012 NCAA Auburn Regional, and produced 23 All-America honors. In 2012, his Georgia team won the Bulldog Cup, which recognizes the UGA team that excels academically, supports their peers in athletics and consistently serves the community.
Prior to his stint as head coach, Clark was the recruiting coordinator at Georgia from 1999-2009 while serving as assistant coach from 1999-2004 and associate head coach from 2005-09 when Georgia won an NCAA record five-straight national titles.
In 2006, he earned National Assistant Coach of the Year and Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors after Georgia won a second-straight national title, and in 2001 Clark was named USA Gymnastics State of Georgia Coach of the Year.
Clark also coached at the club level for 13 years from 1992-2005 as the founder, owner and head coach of Classic City Gymnastics in Athens, Ga. He coached several Classic City gymnasts to state, regional, national championships and to the Junior Olympic National Team, and eight gymnasts went on to compete collegiately at the NCAA Division I level.
A native of Roswell, Georgia, Clark earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science from Georgia. During his college career he also worked as a Physical Therapy Technician at Athens Sports Medicine Clinic, and he stayed in that capacity for four years until his coaching career began at Georgia.
Clark is married to the former Julie Ballard, an All-American Georgia gymnast from 1994-98 and a native of Mandeville, Louisiana The couple has two children – a son, Cole, 14, and a daughter, Kinsey, 11.
Named the Ninth-best Recruiter in College Athletics by ESPN The Magazine (2011)
2015 Central Region Co-Assistant Coach of the Year
2014 National Co-Assistant Coach of the Year
2014 Central Region Co-Assistant Coach of the Year
2013 Central Region Co-Assistant Coach of the Year
2006 National Assistant Coach of the Year
2006 Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year
2001 USAG State of Georgia Coach of the Year
Clark's College Coaching Experience
2012-present – Associate Head Coach, LSU
2009-2012 – Head Coach, Georgia
2005-2009 – Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Georgia
1998-2004 – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Georgia
1990-1996 – Assistant Coach, Georgia