Hall opens doors for Lloyd Clark|[7/27/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2006

The record speaks for itself.

When he retired as coach of the Delta State University Lady Statesmen in 2002, Lloyd Clark was the winningest coach by percentage in NCAA women’s basketball history.

Clark won 83 percent of his games at Delta State, amassing a gaudy 494-98 career mark. Since he retired, two coaches have nudged him to third on the all-time list, Gene Roebuck of the University of North Dakota (.847) and Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee (.836).

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He led the Lady Statesmen to three national championships in a four-year span. For his efforts, the Vicksburg resident will be enshrined into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet Friday night in Jackson.

While Mississippi is known for producing great athletes that have captured the nation’s attention like Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Archie Manning, it has also produced some legendary coaches in Margaret Wade and Dave &#8220Boo” Ferriss.

Both Wade and Ferriss were outstanding athletes. Wade was a standout player at the prep level in the 1930s. Ferriss pitched five years for the Boston Red Sox, leading them to the World Series in 1946.

Lloyd Clark? Well, not so much.

He played one season at Drew, Archie Manning’s high school alma mater, and Clark never played basketball.

Yet he became one of the best basketball coaches in the country.

For Clark, joining Wade and Ferriss is reason enough to be excited about Friday’s induction.

&#8220I’m excited, humble and very appreciative to be going into the Hall of Fame where Ms. Wade and Boo Ferriss are. I’m now with them,” Clark said.