DSU to honor Hall of Famer Lloyd Clark
CLEVELAND, Miss. – Former Delta State University head women’s basketball coach and Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Lloyd Clark will be honored Saturday, Jan. 10, as the Department of Athletics officially names the court at Walter Sillers Coliseum in his honor. The dedication ceremony will be held between games Saturday, as DSU hosts Lee University beginning at 2 p.m.
All former Lady Statesmen players are invited back for the event, including a luncheon in coach Clark’s honor on Saturday at noon inside the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni House.
The storied program in 1982-83 (13-16) had suffered its first losing season since reinstatement. The administration knew exactly where to turn to and that was Vicksburg and Warren Central High School. Coach Clark had made quite a name for himself at the school, compiling an overall record of 245-42 in eight seasons.
The team that went 13-16 the year before, quickly rebounded and ended the 1983-84 season with a 20-8 record at the Division I level. Clark’s mark was easily seen on the team. Defense, tenacious ball-control offense, and smart play highlighted the team. These would become traits his teams were known for.
Over the next 19 seasons, his teams would compile one of the best records in women’s basketball history (494-98) and solidify his name as one of the all-time greats in college basketball coaching. He currently is the Lady Statesmen’s all-time winningest coach, having put together five 30-win seasons, and 11 20-win seasons.
His 1988-89, 1989-90, and 1991-92 teams claimed the NCAA Division II National Championship. The Lady Statesmen came very close to repeating the feat Margaret Wade’s clubs had done during the 1970’s, but fell a little short in the 1990-91 season.
During his 19 years at the helm, Clark guided teams to the NCAA tournament 16 times. Eleven of those years DSU advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. In those 16 appearances, the Lady Statesmen compiled a 39-14 (.736) record.
Clark’s record in the Gulf South Conference is just as impressive. Over his career, DSU amassed a record of 206-38 (.845) in Gulf South Conference play. The GSC recognized his excellence as a coach, awarding him the Coach of the Year honor five times. He has also won numerous NCAA Region Coach of the Year honors as well.
Walter Sillers Coliseum was one of the most feared venues in America under his watch. In 19 seasons, the Lady Statesmen dominated play in Sillers going an amazing 264-22 (.923). DSU also became the first school in NCAA history to win a National title on its home floor.
Clark is married to the former Babs Walker of Drew, Mississippi. They have two sons, Scottie and Brady, both DSU graduates, and four grandchildren, Walker, Will, Conner and Katelyn. The Clarks currently reside in Vicksburg.