Clark Humphreys — who joined the Commodores coaching staff in July of 2005 and was named associate head coach of the track program in 2015 — has helped lead the Vanderbilt track team to new heights during his tenure.
Working primarily with field athletes competing in the pole vault, jumps and multi-events, Humphreys has been influential in helping a large collection of athletes harness their potential and gain national honors.
“Coach Humphreys does an outstanding job of helping our athletes be all they can be, and often he has helped them reach levels of success that they didn’t even realize they were capable of reaching.”
– Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith
Under his watch in 2018-19, Kristen Denk earned first-team All-America honors, broke the school pole vault record and earned the program’s first-ever SEC pole vault title.
Humphreys also oversaw two first-team All-Americans during the 2017 season, including triple jumper Simone Charley and pole vaulter Sarah Bell. Charley earned her fifth All-America first team accolade during the indoor season with a leap of 43-8.00, which earned her seventh place at NCAA’s. Bell secured her All-America honor during the outdoor season with a vault of 13-7.25 feet (4.15 meters), which tied her for eighth overall in the NCAA field.
Bell and Charley also both set school records during the 2017 season under Humphreys’ watch. Bell cleared the bar at 14-0.50 ft. (4.28m) during the outdoor season and at 13-11.25 during the indoor season, both of which topped the school’s record books until Denk both broke marks in 2019. Charley’s triple jump of 44-5.25 at the SEC Indoor Championships was the longest in Commodores history and secured her a spot on the All-SEC second team.
Charley earned first-team All-America honors during the 2014-15 indoor season, and then did so again during the outdoor season, breaking her own school record on multiple occasions during both phases of the season. She capped her year with a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where she produced the best series of her career, including a school-record leap of 44-3.25 feet in the finals. Months earlier, she finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, posting a leap of 43-2.25.
Under Humphreys’ tutelage, Charley became one of the top triple-jumpers in the nation — and arguably the most decorated female athlete in Vanderbilt history. Charley’s career reached the international level when she participated in several USATF events, including the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and represented the USA at the 2016 NACAC Under-23 Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Humphreys helped mentor the first All-American track and field athlete at Vanderbilt in more than a decade when he guided Brionne Williams to second team honors in the high jump during the 2014 indoor track season.
Humphreys made an immediate impact at Vanderbilt as he mentored Garnetta Holloway to an SEC title in the heptathlon in his first season. Holloway was just the second Commodore heptathlete to ever compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Humphreys joined Vanderbilt after a two-year stint at Auburn University. As a Tiger assistant, Humphreys mentored 2005 NCAA indoor pentathlon champion Maurice Smith in the pole vault, All-SEC pole vaulter Ashton Davis, and Auburn women’s vault record holder Katie Curtis.
A native of Nashville, Humphreys was an All-American pole vaulter and NCAA champion at Auburn, where he graduated in 1999. Humphreys captured the 1997 NCAA outdoor pole vault title with a clearance of 18-4.50 feet. Nearly 25 years later, Humphreys’ NCAA mark remains a school record at Auburn.
During his Auburn career, Humphreys earned three All-America honors and eight All-SEC citations competing in the vault and decathlon. He also won the 1997 SEC indoor pole vault crown and holds the distinction of clearing 18 feet at five different meets during the 1997 season. He remains Auburn’s indoor record holder as well.
One of the most decorated prep track stars to ever compete in the Middle Tennessee region, Humphreys was a two-time state champion in pole vault and decathlon at Brentwood Academy. He continues to hold one of the state’s top pole vault marks, with a best of 16-1.25 feet that came in the 1994 state decathlon competition.
Humphreys has two children, a son, London, and a daughter, Cailey.