The offensive line coach of the Marion High School Patriots has been hired as head coach of the Paris Eagles.

The hiring of Tyler Clark was unanimously approved last Thursday night by the Paris School Board, which was acting on a recommendation from School Superintendent Wayne Fawcett. Clark is taking over from Bryan Hutson who resigned as head coach to take the coaching job at Elkins.

Fawcett said Clark’s “enthusiasm and eagerness to build a successful program” stood out. Clark was one of five candidates interviewed by Fawcett and a committee. There were 32 candidates for the job, Fawcett said.

“We talked to people who knew him,” Fawcett said last week. “They had a high level of praise for him. They were effusive in their praise.”

This will be Clark’s first head coaching job. He was offensive line coach at Marion from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, he was offensive line coach at Warren High School when it won the 4A State Championship in 2014 and the 8-4A conference title in 2014 and 2015. Clark entered coaching as a graduate assistant at Russellville from 2011 to 2014. He is a native of Russellville and graduated from Russellville High School and attended Arkansas Tech University. Clark’s wife is also from Russellville.

Fawcett said Clark’s lack of head coaching experience was not a factor.

“Two of our committee members sat down with him and talked x’s and o’s,” Fawcett said. “They were thoroughly impressed with his football knowledge.

“Paul Johnson is the principal at Marion,” Fawcett said. “He was head coach at Bald Knob when I was principal there. I highly respect Paul Johnson’s opinion. Paul’s comment was that Tyler Clark knows the game of football and he knows how to coach the game of football. That carries a lot of weight with me. He volunteered that. That erased any doubt in my mind about any lack of head coaching experience.”

Clark said Friday he was excited about the job and saw potential in Paris.

“I’ve always thought Paris would be a great job,” Clark said. “I know a little bit about Coach Hutson and he’s been successful there. The only thing I expect is hard work from players and coaches. At the end of the day, football is football and I’m excited about the opportunity at Paris.”

Clark came to Paris Monday and met with the football team Tuesday. He said he plans to stay in Paris for two weeks. Fawcett said the school district will set up a chance for the public to meet Clark sometime in July.

“He’s pretty impressive to talk to,” Fawcett said. “When people meet him, I believe they will be impressed.”