Herman Clark, CU’s First All-American Athlete, Passes Away
MURFREESBORO, NC – The Chowan University community is mourning the loss of Mr. Herman Alfred Clark who passed away in Jackson, North Carolina on Saturday, March 11th, 2017. Clark was Chowan's first-ever All-American athlete. He earned the honor in 1955 as a member of the Chowan University football team under the direction of Coach Herb Appenzeller.
Clark was inducted into Chowan's "Jim Garrison" Sports Hall of Fame in November of 1986 after a stellar junior college career. Clark transferred to Chowan from the University of Richmond where he played one year on the freshman squad. The University of Richmond's loss was Chowan's gain as Clark helped to lead the 1955 football team to one of the best seasons in program history at the quarterback position.
Clark helped then-Braves post an 8-1 overall record in 1955 with wins over Baltimore College (21-0), Elon Jayvees (25-14), Fork Union (19-13), Wesley (25-6), Richmond B's (40-26), Newport News Apprentice (26-7), Hargraves Military Academy (32-7), and Ferrum (38-6). Their lone loss was an 18-7 setback against Bullis. The 1955 team captured Basket Bowl and Ruritan Bowl Championship crowns that same season. Clark was named to the All-State Junior College Team in addition to being named an Junior College All-American.
In 2002, Clark was inducted into the Fork Union Military Academy Hall of Fame. At FUMA, Clark was standout baseball, basketball, and football athlete. His passing skills led Fork Union to the state military schools football championship in 1950. The team captain of 1950 was named All-State both years at FUMA. As the leader of the Blue Devils, Clark lost just one game in two seasons, while throwing 20 touchdown passes. He went on to win the Orchid Bowl after his senior season.
Clark made his name on the gridiron and in the coaching ranks in Virginia and the Carolinas. His passing skills led Fork Union to the state military schools football championship in 1950. Clark was an all-around athlete, lettering in football, baseball, and basketball. It was football that he made a name for himself. The team captain of 1950 was named All-State both years at FUMA. As the leader of the Blue Devils, Clark lost just one game in two seasons, while throwing 20 touchdown passes. He went on to win the Orchid Bowl after his senior season.
Clark returned to Chowan as an assistant coach for one year, then went on his own head coaching career. During his 10-year stint as head coach at Murfreesboro (NC) High School, he never endured a losing campaign. He was named the state's Coach of the Year in 1972, and coached the "East" Squad in the North Carolina East-West Shrine Game. Clark also coached at Scotland Neck (NC) High School for five seasons.
Clark was born in Victoria, Va. on April 2, 1930 to Herman H. and Luida Darlington Clark. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Helen Williamson and Margaret Freeman. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Judith "Judy" Owen Clark, three daughters, Robin C. McEnaney and husband Ed of Oak Island, NC, Laura C. Driggers of Florence, SC, and Sally C. Agee and husband Martin of Louisa, VA; seven grandchildren, Taylor and Abby McEnaney, David, Leigh Anna, and Clark Driggers, Anna Grace and Owen Agee; and one brother, Gene Clark of Victoria, VA.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017, at 1:30 pm at the Murfreesboro Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, NC, with Dr. M Christopher White, officiating.