After the departure of Barton Community College head women’s basketball coach Darin Spence, Carter Kruger has taken up the mantle.
Now Kruger has a supporting-cast member as Otis-Bison High School’s former head boys’ basketball coach, Alan Clark, has been hired as an assistant coach.
“This is a new experience for me,” Clark said. “It will be a new challenge for me. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Clark has numerous ties to Barton.
“It seemed like the thing for me to do, being a Barton alumnus,” Clark said. “I played for them in the 1970s. I’ve had one son play for them in 2006 and 2007, and I’ve had another son play baseball for them.
“It seemed like a good way to give something back to my alma mater.”
While Clark has no experience at the community college level, he has coached at a number of levels.
“I’ve been coaching at different levels since I was out of college,” Clark said. “I’ve coached AAU ball and American Legion baseball. Before coming to Otis-Bison, I coached at Great Bend Middle School.”
Clark has led the Cougars for three seasons, taking Otis-Bison to its highest finish at the Class 1A Division-II state tournament this past season as state runner-up. The Cougars placed third in 2011.
“I don’t know if it was me turning the program around,” Clark said. “They’ve had good teams there for awhile, but I was able to get them another notch up from where they had been before.
“I was able to get them to the next level.”
Clark said that he expects to be able to handle the next level despite never coaching a women’s team before.
“I have not coached women before, at least not as a team,” Clark said. “I’ve coached women on an individual basis.
“If you can get a high level of talent and competition, than I would guess it is similar to coaching boys.”