Clark College Athetic Director Charles Guthrie didn’t venture too far in his search for the next men’s basketball coach at Clark College.
Guthrie has tabbed Alex Kirk as the replacement for Mike Arnold, who was released at the end of the past season. Kirk has experience at the collegiate and high school levels and also the Dan Dickau Basketball Academy in Vancouver.
Kirk served as director of basketball operations at the University of Portland, where he handled the day-to-day operations for the men’s basketball program. Most recently, Kirk served as the head coach for the King’s Way Christian Knights in Vancouver. In his first season as coach, the team won its first league title in school history, finishing conference play 11-1 and advancing to the Washington state semifinals.
Kirk also served as an assistant coach at Mountain View High School while doubling as a lead trainer and coach for the Dan Dickau Basketball Academy, where he coached and trained high school, college and professional players from across the Pacific Northwest.
A basketball standout at Prosser High School, Kirk played at Washington State University for head coach Dick Bennett. He earned an associate degree from Columbia Basin College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Portland and a master’s degree from Concordia University in Irvine, CA.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at Clark and be part of the exciting momentum they’re building,” said Kirk. “This is a wonderful opportunity to impact the lives of student athletes on and off the court. I’ve developed so many relationships in the greater Vancouver community and can’t wait to become an official member of the Penguin Nation.”
Guthrie is excited about the enthusiam and energy Kirk will bring to the Clark program. “Alex Kirk is one of the bright up-and-coming coaches in the profession,’’ Guthrie said. “He will infuse our program with high levels of energy and professionalism. He is very skilled at using today’s technology to improve efficiencies on and off the court. We’re also confident that his networks will have a strong and positive impact on our ability to recruit student athletes.”
Former Prairie High School standout Dan Dickau, the President of Dan Dickau Basketball Academy and current member of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball staff, endorsed the hiring of Kirk.
“Alex will be a great hire for Clark College,’’ Dickau said. “He will leave no stone unturned in making Clark a factor each year. His passion, work ethic, and vision for what it takes to run a program will help make it a smooth transition for him. After getting to know Alex over the last few years he has impressed me with his passion, knowledge and vision for how he would run his own program if ever gotten the chance. Now that his opportunity is here, I’m excited for Alex and Clark College. I think they hired a great young coach.”
Former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, currently the head coach at the University of Virginia, echoed Dickau’s sentiments.
“Alex Kirk exemplified what it meant to be a student-athlete during his time at Washington State University,’’ Bennett said. “I believe Alex is a great addition to Clark College because of his love for the game and his passion to have a positive impact on young men’s lives. Alex is a tireless worker and a student of the game, something that his players will recognize and appreciate. Clark College has hired a coach of the highest character and I believe Alex will be a major asset for the community at large.”
While at the University of Portland, Kirk was groomed by current Pilots coach Eric Reveno.
“Having known and worked with Alex Kirk over the last five years, I am very excited to hear about his appointment as head coach of the Clark College men’s basketball team,’’ Reveno said. “In addition to being a tireless worker, Coach Kirk is a passionate teacher of the game and skilled basketball tactician. He is at his best in his basketball ‘classroom’ but always has rock solid priorities helping student-athletes grow both on and off the court. I am excited to watch the program grow under Coach Kirk’s guidance.”
At Clark, Kirk joins Al Aldridge in the Penquins’ athletic department. Aldridge, the former Prairie’s girls’ coach, was hired recently to coach the Clark women’s basketball team.
“Alex is a bright young student of the game,’’ Aldridge said. “I think his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game and Clark College will be well received by the community and players now and in the future. I look forward to working with him in our Penguin Nation.”