Photo Credit: Trevor Hopkin
Don Clark distinguished himself as a leader while a student athlete at the University of Saskatchewan. He was named captain of the Huskies football team for the 1964-65 season, and won the Rusty MacDonald Cup—awarded for leadership, sportsmanship, athletics and academics—that same year. As a member of the wrestling team in the heavyweight class, Clark won a conference championship in 1965, and a provincial championship in 1967.
It was after his career as an athlete ended, however, that Clark would make his most lasting contributions to sport. After a brief stint as an assistant coach with the Huskies football team, he took a job at the university’s Regina College in 1970, and soon became the coach of the wrestling club. It was a position he would hold until 1985. In every year Clark was in charge of the program, the Cougars produced at least one conference champion. In 1983, he was named Great Plains Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
Clark’s success as a coach brought him to work with the Canadian National Men’s Wrestling team. He was team manager for the 1977 and 1991 World University Games and the 1978 Commonwealth Games. In 1980 and 1984, he worked as a coach during the team’s Olympic training camps. And finally, in 1996, he served as the Canadian Team Wrestling Leader at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Clark’s commitment to wrestling went beyond coaching. During the same time period he was the Cougars’ head coach, he was also a member of the executive of Saskatchewan’s Amateur Wrestling Association (SAWA), including a twelve-year term as SAWA’s president from 1973 to 1985. His work with SAWA led to him becoming a founding member of Sask Sport in 1972. He became Sask Sport’s first Vice-President of Sport from 1997 to 1999. And Don served as Vice-President for the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association from 1997 to 2002.
Although Clark retired from coaching in 1985, he remained active in sport as a volunteer. He became the Director of the National Coaching Institute in Saskatchewan in 2008, and still held the position as of 2012. In 2010, he went to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, this time as the Managing Director of the Saskatchewan Pavilion.
Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 16th, 2012.
- Head Wrestling Coach University of Regina Cougars 1970-1985
- Founding member of Sask Sport (1972), representing Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association (SAWA)
- President of SAWA 1973-1985
- Wrestling Technical Delegate Saskatchewan Games 1973-1985
- Coordinator of Officials (all sports) 1978 Western Canada Summer Games
- Vice-President of Sport, 1987 Western Canada Summer Games
- Wrestling Team coach 1967 Canada Winter Games
- Wrestling Team manager 1971 Canada Winter Games
- Vice-President of Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association (CAWA) 1997-2002
- Canadian Olympic Committee – CAWA Category A member (1997-2002)
- Saskatchewan Wrestling Team coach – CAWA Senior National Championships 1975-1985
- Canadian Interuniversity Great Plains Athletic Association Coach of the Year 1983
- President Canadian Interuniversity Sport Wrestling Coaches Association 1983-1985
- CAWA Technical Delegate 1975, 1979, 1989, and 1991 Canada Games
- Executive member of the 2005 Canada Summer Games (Regina)
- Wrestling Team Manager 1977 World University Games
- Wrestling Team Manager 1978 Commonwealth Games
- CAWA Technical Delegate 1998 Pan American Wrestling Championships
- Training Camp Coach 1980 Olympic Games
- Training Team Coach 1984 Olympic Games
- Wrestling Team Manager 1991 World University Games
- Canadian Wrestling Team leader 1996 Olympic Games
- Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association Volunteer Recognition Award 1981
- Sask Sport Volunteer Recognition Award 1983
- Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association Maple Leaf Award 1997 (recognizing 25 years as volunteer at national level)
- Federation International Lutte Amateur Gold Star 1999 (recognizing 25 years as volunteer at international level)
- University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame 1987
- University of Regina Wall of Fame 2001
- Regina “Citizen of the Year” 2003
- Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2005