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Michelle Clark-Heard

As of Aug. 25, 2017 

Named as a court coach for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp on Aug. 25, 2017, Michelle Clark-Heard will undertake her third coaching assignment with USA Basketball.

“I’m really honored and humbled to have the opportunity to be with USA Basketball again” said Clark-Heard. “To be with coach Staley and to be a court coach with the USA National Team is amazing. I just want to keep growing and learning every day. I’m excited to be around everyone who was appointed to be a court coach and coach Staley and everything she’s doing. This is just a blessing.”

Previously, she helped USA Basketball to a silver medal as an assistant coach for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team and aided the 2017 USA Women's U23 National Team to a 3-0 record against Australia, Canada and host Japan in the 2017 U24 Four Nations Tournament.

Clark-Heard recently completed her fifth season (2012-13 to present) as head coach at her alma mater Western Kentucky, where she has compiled a 130-39 record (.769 winning percentage).

She also owns two seasons of experience as a Division II head coach at Kentucky State University and a combined total of 12 seasons as assistant coach at the University of Louisville, where she was an assistant to 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team head coach Jeff Walz, as well as at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Nebraska.

This past season in 2016-17, Clark-Heard led WKU to a 27-7 record, a Conference-USA regular season title and tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

In 2015-16, she led her team to a 27-7 record that included an appearance in the WNIT quarterfinals.

In 2014-15, Clark-Heard and WKU captured the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and earned a second-straight automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. WKU finished the season 30-5, and Clark-Heard earned her second conference coach of the year award in her three seasons at WKU. She was a finalist for the 2015 Pat Summitt Trophy, which is awarded annually to the United States Marine Corp/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year.

In her second season in 2013-14, Clark-Heard led her team to a 24-9 record and won a Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship to secure an NCAA Tournament berth. The season was capped by a loss to Baylor in Waco, Texas, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, ending the longest NCAA Tournament appearance drought in program history.

In her first year as a Division I coach, Clark-Heard helped WKU to a 22-11 record, which was a 13-win improvement over 2011-12 (9-21), in addition to earning a 2012 WNIT berth. WKU's eight-win improvement in conference play tied for the largest in league history, and it became the first team in Sun Belt history to win 20 games following a year in which it won fewer than 10 games. Clark-Heard became first coach to lead a WKU team to 10 road wins in a season since 1990-91.

Clark-Heard spent five years as an assistant coach to Jeff Walz at Louisville (2008 through 2012-13). During her time with the program, the Cardinals made three Sweet 16 appearances and two Final Four appearances, finishing as the National Runner-Up in 2009. A roster she helped build also reached the Final Four in 2013 after beating Baylor and Tennessee. Clark-Heard was instrumental in bringing in the No. 12 recruiting class in 2008, which preceded three-straight top-10 classes in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2010 recruiting class was the highest-ranked class in school history at fifth in the nation.

Prior to Louisville, Clark-Heard spent two seasons as a Division II head coach at Kentucky State (2005-06 and 2006-07), taking the reins of the program in June 2005. She inherited a program that had won only one game the previous season, and in her first campaign led the Thorobrettes to a 5-23 record.           

In her second season at KSU, she guided her team to a 19-9 record. Clark-Heard earned Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors after the impressive turnaround. Her 2007 Thorobrettes were the second-most improved team in NCAA Division II women's basketball that season.

Prior to Kentucky State, Clark-Heard spent three seasons at Cincinnati (2002-03 through 2004-05) as an assistant coach and four years at Nebraska in that same role (1998-99 through 2001-02).

Cincinnati advanced to postseason play in two of her three seasons there, and twice she helped Nebraska reach the NCAA Tournament.

A four-year letter winner as a basketball player at Western Kentucky (1986-87 through 1989-90), Clark-Heard was part of four NCAA Tournament teams. She also won a pair of Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships (1988 and 1989) and two conference regular-season titles (1989 and 1990). She played in 118 games during her four years, scoring 790 points (6.7 ppg.) and pulling down 615 rebounds (5.2 rpg.). WKU amassed 89 victories during her time in a uniform, winning 70.0 percent of its games over that span and putting together three, 20-win seasons.

Upon graduation from WKU, she spent eight years working within a recreational setting in Kentucky, including five years in Bowling Green and three with the Louisville Metro Parks Department.

While in Louisville, she served as head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach at DuPont Manual High School for the 1994-95 season. Additionally, she played professionally with the Kentucky Marauders of the Women's Basketball Association in 1994-95.

The Louisville native earned Kentucky High School State Player of the Year honors in 1986 while playing at Atherton High School and was inducted into the Atherton Hall of Fame in 2003.

She married Luther Heard on August 16, 2003.


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