Sam Clark was named Head Coach of the Life U Women's Soccer team in September 2015 with their first competitive season beginning in the fall of 2016. Building the program from the ground up Clark has seen the improvement in increments.
“To me, it is important to build the culture of the program first, and in the first two years, we feel we have achieved just that. We have identified our core values and our philosophy.”
In 2017, the women’s achieved a university high team GPA of 3.19 and was awarded the NAIA Academic Team Honor as well as the US Soccer Coaches Academic Team Award. The team had two players named to the Mid- South Conference Player of the Week, and scored the record for single game goals scored on Lupo Family Field at six.
Clark looks to improve in the program’s third year. “The level of player we continue to bring in keeps improving. The players who are come here and stay here are committed to the process and love the challenge of pioneering a program.”
After a standout collegiate career at both NAIA and NCAA institutions, Clark became a coach while in graduate school. Since 2006, she has been coaching at various levels, including assistant coach at the collegiate level, Olympic Development Program level, and as an Academy Director at the youth club level. Her credentials include a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National B license, NSCAA National Goalkeeping diploma, and is a NCAA Women's Coaches Academy graduate.
Clark, a goalkeeper, began her collegiate career at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa where she was an NAIA All-American honorable mention, All-Region first-team, All-Conference first-team, Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She also set NAIA records for shutouts and goals-against average. She finished up her playing career at Western Illinois where she set school records for wins, goals-against average, and shutouts. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and was given the Western Illinois Provost Student Athlete Academic Achievement Award and was named Mid-Continent Conference Academic First Team.
She began her coaching career in Illinois in the Olympic Development Program (ODP), then became Assistant Coach at Louisiana Tech while working toward her Master's degree. Along with Assistant Coach, she served as the Strength & Conditioning Coach. During her stint as assistant coach at Louisiana Tech she helped turn the program around from 3-16-1 season to a 12-7-2 which was the 16th Most Improved Team in NCAA D1 for 2008. She also coached the goalkeepers to 10 shutouts which was a school record, her goalkeeper was named Conference Player of the Week, posted a school record for goals against average, and most single season shut outs. She graduated with her Master's degree in Kinesiology, with a concentration in Sport Performance.
After serving three years at Louisiana Tech Clark was named the Assistant Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach at the University of North Alabama, where she, once again, helped move a program forward. While at UNA she helped the program enter the first round of the NCAA DII National Tournament, having coached two All-Americans, two All-South Region, (including GK) two All-South Region Second Team, four Gulf South Conference First Team players, two Gulf South Conference Second Team players, four All- GSC Tournament Team players, and two Academic All-Americans. She eventually moved to the Atlanta as the Girls Academy Director for Southern Soccer Academy (SSA), the largest club in the southeast.
Clark and her wife, Liz, live in Acworth, GA with their son, Beckham, and four rescue dogs Emma, Nala, Jake, and Pepsi.