ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Following an extensive search, Elmira College Director of Athletics Renee Carlineo is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Clark as head coach of the Soaring Eagles' men's wrestling program.
Clark faces the unique challenge of building a program from the ground up. Although EC briefly sponsored men's wrestling during the 1970s, the Soaring Eagles will return to the mat for the first time in nearly four decades during the 2020-21 academic year.
"We are incredibly excited to have Ian as the first head coach of Elmira College men's wrestling," Carlineo said. "Ian is a passionate coach, hard-working recruiter, and a strong teacher. We could not be more eager to see what he can do in building this program from the ground up."
"I am excited for the chance to build something special in such an amazing setting," Clark said. "I want to thank Renee Carlineo and the rest of the administration at Elmira College for giving the sport of wrestling an opportunity on this beautiful campus. I'm looking forward to getting to work right away. I have had the privilege to wrestle for and work with a lot of great coaches. I'm very appreciative of everything that I learned from them and intend to work very hard to pass those lessons along."
A 2011 graduate of SUNY Cortland and a two-year member of the Red Dragons' wrestling program, Clark has gained valuable experience as an assistant coach at three NCAA Division III institutions. His coaching career began as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater under the guidance of his former coach and a five-time Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference (ECWC) Coach of the Year, Brad Bruhn. With Clark on the bench during the 2010-11 campaign, the Red Dragons finished 14th at the NCAA Division III Championships.
A native of Evans Mills, New York, Clark ventured closer to home to join Oswego State as an assistant coach for four seasons from 2012-16. With the Lakers, he was charged with creating and executing practice and strength and conditioning plans, evaluating film, and recruiting potential student-athletes alongside long-time head coach Mike Howard. During Clark's tenure, the team saw significant growth in multiple areas. Oswego's roster nearly doubled in size, two student-athletes won individual titles at the ECWC Championships, and one qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships. With the classes Clark helped recruit at Oswego, the Lakers went on to finish fourth in the region in the spring of 2017.
Most recently, Clark served as an assistant on the staff at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. He played a valuable role in reviving the institution's wrestling program for the 2018-19 season after a seven-year hiatus. In the team's first year back, Clark's efforts were key in securing a freshman class of 14 for the 2019-20 season.
In addition to a lengthy resume at the collegiate level, Clark also boasts one season as an assistant coach at Indian River High School in Philadelphia, New York. A former standout with the Warriors during his prep days, Clark mentored four state qualifiers, while the team posted a superb 22-2 record in dual meets during the 2011-12 season.
Clark graduated from Indian River in 2004 after winning a Section III Class A championship as a senior. In addition to earning five varsity letters in wrestling, he was a two-year starter on the football team. After two years at Jefferson Community College, he concluded his wrestling career at SUNY Cortland, helping the Red Dragons win an ECWC title as a senior. Clark graduated from Cortland with a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics in December of 2011.