Coaches Corner with Clark Humphreys

Aug. 11, 2008

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Humphreys is in his third season at Vanderbilt, as an assistant track and field coach, specializing in the pole vault and multi-events. He is a native of Nashville and graduated from Brentwood Academy.

Being a Nashville native, did you grow up as a Vanderbilt fan?

We weren't Tennessee fans or Belmont or Lipscomb fans. When I was growing up, the only pro team in town was the Nashville Knights (hockey), and I only went to one game. If there was an athletic event that we went to in Nashville, then Vanderbilt is where we came. I remember watching Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal come here. I can still take you to where our seats were.

As a Nashville native, how nice was it to return to your hometown?

That was a lot of the reasoning behind coming to Vanderbilt three years ago. Our family was here, and my wife (Erin) and I were having our first child (London) at the time. It's not too often that coaches get to raise a family around immediate family and be with grandparents and brothers and sisters.

You and your staff are building a program on the rise, how exciting is that?

It is exciting. We've always had a lot of excellent individuals, and we are looking to make our team a little bit more of a stronger unit from top to bottom. To see it grow from the ground up and see what we can do with it for the next three or four years will be one of the most gratifying things.

How did you first get into pole vault?

My parents own a farm in Clarksville, Tenn., and we'd go up there and goof off in the summertime. I found this stick that a beaver cleaned up and smoothed, and it looked like a human had done it. It was probably eight-foot tall and I would use it to jump over creeks at the farm. My mom and dad also had a fence at home that I would jump over.

What is the best advice another coach ever gave you?

"Put in your time. You have to put in your time whether it's working as an athlete, working at your event or learning to be a coach." - Jerry Clayton, assistant track and field coach at Auburn.



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