As previously reported by Resident Press, Paris head football coach Tyler Clark has announced that he has accepted a position on the Russellville Cyclone’s football staff as their offensive coordinator. Clark, who led the rebuilding of the Paris football program that resulted in its most successful season in program history last year, will return to his home town of Russellville where he played for the Cyclones. Before arriving at Paris, Clark served as an assistant coach in the Marion school district in eastern Arkansas.
The Paris school district released a letter from Clark today that is addressed to the Paris community and school district. The letter, in its entirety, is shown below.
In an earlier conversation with Clark, the Paris coach said, “It was a very hard decision for my wife and I to make, but it is home for both of us. It’s an opportunity for my family and my career that I can’t pass up. I informed our players this morning (Wednesday morning), which was very hard and emotional. I really enjoyed Paris, which is why it was such a tough decision, but I do think it’s the right one.”
The announcement of Clark’s departure comes at a point where the program faces another rebuilding process ahead of it for the 2021 season. Several seniors from the 2020 team are graduating next month and will leave a void in the team that will have to replaced moving forward. The team returns good talent in the skill positions but will not have the depth or the offensive and defensive line presence that it had last season. Now, with spring practice just around the corner, the Paris administration must find Clark’s replacement as player development continues with the remaining assistant coaches. The new coach will have a short time to get organized and into the critical spring and summer months leading up to the start of the season in August.
It remains to be seen if the district will focus on an outside candidate, or, possibly promote one of the assistant coaches and hire a replacement assistant. Time is critical, and the retention of players in the program is even more critical. A new leader for the football program has to be secured in the fastest possible time frame to avoid ongoing uncertainty both inside and outside the program.
Resident Press will continue to follow this development and will bring you the latest as information is available. But in the meantime, I would like to wish Coach Clark the best of success in his new position in Russellville. And on a personal note, I would like to publicly add that Coach Clark was a pleasure to work with from a writer’s perspective. He was always accessible and very open with his time with me. It was always very important to him that his players had the opportunity to be given exposure and credit for the work he had asked them to invest in his program. Coach Clark approached the media professionally, and to that, I want to thank him. He will be sorely missed, but to those who know him, you have to be happy for him to have the opportunity to move into his new position. So, Coach Clark, thank you for everything you did for Paris, and best of luck with your new job and career at Russellville High School.