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Coppell hires Plano West coach Kendall Clark
June 30, 2011By Tim Polzer of VYPE MAGAZINE - 7-5A
The Coppell ISD school board approved Kendall Clark of Plano West in its Wednesday night meeting to be the Cowboys' new baseball coach. VYPE reported Monday Clark would be the recommendation after a statewide search which included more than 100 interested candidates.
Clark leading West to the 2008 Class 5A state title was a leading factor in Coppell's interest to succeed former coach Don English who had had great regular-season success with eight playoff berths in nine years but hadn't reached a state tournament.
"You want to go to a program where the expectations are high," Clark said. "That usually means they have the interest and resources to help make it happen."
The 47-year-old Clark established Plano West as one of the state’s premier programs in the last seven years. Plano West won 2008 Class 5A state title, was a 2010 state semifinalist and a regional semifinalists in 2007.
Clark has been leading the Plano West program since 2006 but the 1982 Collinsville, TX graduate has been in the Plano ISD system for 17 years.
Clark's built a Plano West program known for talented players with strong fundamentals but often displays a more relaxed personality than the quietly intensity of English. Coppell and West each have highly rated players but a mix of difficult early round playoff opponents and the building pressure for Coppell to live up to some of its top-rankings seemed to take its toll.
The 54-year-old English was reassigned in May after Coppell had a 30-8-1 season but was eliminated in what was considered an upset by Hurst L.D. Bell the second round of the playoffs. Bell eventually advanced to within one game of reaching the 5A state tournament.
Coppell was 211-106-1 under English with a 95-32 record in typically very competitive districts. Plano West is coming off a disappointing 10-19 season with a 3-11 district record but is just one year removed from making a 2010 state tournament appearance.
Ironically, English could be a strong candidate to replace Clark at Plano West. English has had successful runs at Plano East and Highland Park before Coppell but English still lives in the Plano ISD area.