EUGENE, Ore. – Willie Taggart added another member to his coaching staff when he announced the hiring of Charles Clark as a defensive backs coach on Thursday.
Clark comes to Oregon from Colorado along with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt after spending the previous four seasons with the Buffaloes. Clark coached Colorado’s safeties during his first two seasons in Boulder before moving to cornerbacks for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Clark’s secondary was instrumental in helping the Buffs to the 2016 Pac-12 Conference South Division title, finishing second in the league and 21st in the country in passing defense (193.6 ypg) and tied for third in the nation in passing yards allowed per attempt (5.7).
Prior to Colorado, Clark coached defensive backs at San Jose State from 2010 to 2012. Clark’s unit led the WAC in interceptions (15) and forced turnovers (31) in 2012, and he helped to mold Duke Ihenacho into an All-Western Athletic Conference selection and future NFL player.
Clark began his coaching career at Duke in 2008, starting as a defensive quality control intern while also assisting the special teams coordinator and defensive assistant coaches. In 2009, he was promoted to a graduate assistant position assigned to the defense.
A four-year letterman at Ole Miss, Clark played in 47 career games and started each of the last 34. He led the Rebels in tackles as a sophomore (76), totaling more than future Butkus Award winner and NFL All-Pro, Patrick Willis. He finished his career with 198 tackles, three interceptions, 12 passes broken up and five fumble recoveries.
Clark graduated from Mississippi in 2007 with a degree in business (banking and finance), and he worked briefly in private business before getting into coaching. A native of Eustis, Fla., Clark attended Clay High School where he played football, basketball and track and field.