Latasha Colander Clark joins the Paine College Athletic staff as head coach for men’s & women’s track and field and women & men’s cross country, Director of Athletics Tim Duncan announced. Clark, who earned an Olympic gold medal and was part of a world-record relay team, comes to Paine from Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, North Carolina, where she was assistant men and women’s track and field coach.
“I would like to thank the Paine College Administration for this opportunity to serve as head coach for the track and field and cross country programs,” stated Clark. “I see great potential for a competitive track and field program here at Paine College. I look forward to meeting and working with the local high school coaches, as well as the Lion student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and the residents of the greater Central Savannah River Area to make Paine College track and field the best it can be.”
“We are extremely proud to have Coach Clark lead our track and field and cross country programs”, said Duncan. “After conducting an extensive national search that included over 100 applicants for the position, Coach Clark’s experience, work ethic and passion for helping student-athletes achieve on and off the track made her the obvious choice to lead the Lion running programs. We are certainly fortunate to add her, Kris and their children to the Paine College community.”
Clark anchored the USA 4×400 meter relay team, which took home the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In addition, she competed in the 400 meters at the 2000 Olympics after winning the U.S. Olympic Trials in the event. In 2004, Clark won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 2000, Clark ran the second leg of the 4×200 meter relay team at USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays. Her relay team set a world record with a time of 1:27.46. In 2001, Clark won the 100 meters at the USA Outdoor Championship. In 2005, she qualified to be a part of Team USA for the World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, Finland, where she made it to the 200-meter finals, placing fifth.
In 2006, Clark retired as a professional athlete.
Originally from Virginia, Clark is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communications. As a student, she was a member of the track team, and she received the MVP award three times, and was an 18 time All-American. After graduating, Clark signed as a Professional Track & Field Athlete with NIKE in 1999.
Clark is a member of the Virginia Hall of Fame Hall of Stars and the UNC Hall of Fame. Clark established the LC Treasures Within Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening kids, families and the world through education sports and spirituality. Clark has appeared on numerous television programs including the 700 Club and the INSP Network, and she is the author of an Autobiography- Fighting for Destiny The Final Destination, and YES I CAN, a children’s book.
Clark is married to Kris Clark, a graduate and former football student-athlete at the University of South Carolina. They have three children Krisjon (4), Christian (2), and Kyrsten (1).