08Rug Clark point w reserves clapping 165-KCTowering at 6 feet and 5 inches, Cal rugby coach Jack Clark poses an impressive figure, but even more impressive is his esteemed character and his commitment to Cal athletics. For those of you who live in ignorance of this living legend, prepare to be astonished as we dissect what makes him such a damn good coach.

Clark played football and rugby for Cal when he went here, 34 years ago. That’s probably where he started developing his deeply ingrained sense of Cal pride. The entirety of Cal could be steamrolled into a flat mound and Jack Clark would be sitting on that mound wearing blue and gold.

Clark enjoys reading poetry. No, seriously.  He’s lived the kind of life that has exposed him to some good people. And he’s taken the best attributes from those people and made it a part of him.

Taken straight from his Wikipedia page: “Clark is the winningest coach in Cal Rugby history.” All anyone really wants is the word “winningest” used to describe their achievements.

If you’re expecting someone who is this big of a man to be a misogynist, you’re just plain wrong. And we hate you. After hearing that rugby was being demoted from a Varsity sport to a Club sport at Cal, Clark didn’t lash out against the most probable cause: Title IX. Here‘s what he said: “ I’m a fan of Title IX. I think gender equality is exactly the right mission. I know a lot about athletics and what it can do for people, and the fact that we didn’t have enough opportunities for young women was a crime.”

Perhaps most importantly, the rugby team is the one place where Cal consistently annihilates Stanford. This past Saturday, Cal defended the Scrum Axe with a 176-0 win. The good sport that he is, Clark went through much of the 63 players on the team, showing that the score could have been even higher if he had only played his best players.

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4448701927_6f9a633927Back in September, the heads of our outstanding institution of higher learning brilliantly decided to demote our varsity rugby team, which has won an astounding 26 national championships BTW, to club status while completely eliminating our baseball team — that same baseball team that isn’t doing too bad these days either, as you might have heard.

As if that isn’t enough to make those folks who cut these successful programs feel a little silly, Cal baseball coach David Esquer was just named National Coach of the Year.

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We all love to play our little petty rivalry with the Palo Alto school, but when it comes down to it, it’s nice to know that there is more to human beings than just red shirts or blue shirts. For example, two Stanford alums are fundraising to keep the Cal baseball and rugby teams alive.

Yes, you heard right. Former Congressman Pete McCloskey and attorney Joe Cotchett (and yes, both are Stanford grads) are going around collecting checks in hopes of reinstating both teams. “A lot of us think playing ball against Cal was kind of a privilege. We’d like our grandchildren to have that same privilege,” McCloskey said to ABC 7 News.

Well, wow, that just makes us feel all fuzzy inside. The only potential hiccup is that the university says they would have to reinstate women’s teams as well as men’s teams, and for that they’d need around $70 or $80 million. There’s also a ticking clock: McCloskey and Cotchett said the university has until January or they will give the checks back.

OK, then, folks, time to get a-fundraisin’.

Image source: vistamommy under Creative Commons
2 Stanford alums fight to keep 2 UC Berkeley sports alive [ABC 7 KGO]