Dr. Larry Clark is more than just a name for the recent track meetPublished 9:02pm Friday, March 14, 2014
Last Saturday’s fifth annual Doctor Larry Clark Invitational Track Meet at the Bainbridge High School track, featuring a record 19 teams, was extremely competitive and exciting.
Doctor Clark, for whom the meet is named, is one of the greatest role models for young people that we have in Decatur County. As head coach of the Bainbridge High School Bearcats track team for many years, he built one of the strongest track programs in the state.
Former Bearcats sprinter and football running back Larry Cosby, who ran for Clark, led the Bearcats to the Region 1-AAAA and State Class AAAA track championships while being named Region 1-AAAA and Albany Herald All-Area track coach of the year in 2010.
Cosby, who was Clark’s handpicked person to replace him as Bearcats head track coach, is also the running backs coach on coach Jeff Littleton’s Bainbridge Bearcats varsity football coaching staff. He is the only running back in my 43 years of covering Bearcats football who started all four years. He also was an outstanding running back at Tusculum College.
Cosby is also the brother of Post-Searchlight pressman and my dear friend Charles Cosby.
Clark still works with Cosby’s Bearcats track team and the Lady Cats track team coached by another former star, Bainbridge athlete Tandria Cox Phillips, who played basketball and ran track. She also was a very strong and successful competitor on the Albany State University Lady Golden Rams track team.
Cosby and Phillips are just two of the many athletes and non-athletes Clark has helped and supported through the years.
Ty Akins, an All-Region and All-State hurdler and sprinter under Clark, went on to become an All-American hurdler and sprinter with the Auburn University Tigers. Doctor Clark is also a former Bearcats football defensive coordinator under former Bearcats football coach Sonny Smart. Clark played for coach J.B. Roland’s Bearcats, the first Bearcats football team I covered for this fine newspaper in 1970.
After that 1970 football season, I wrote a story about Clark signing a football scholarship with Morehouse College. A picture I took of him intercepting a pass ran with the story.
Nobody affected so many young Decatur County lives in such a positive way more than Clark. What a great educator, role model, coach and all around great guy he is. I am proud, honored and privileged to call him my dear friend. Helping young people is his passion and he exercises it every day.