Although officially a full-time lacrosse player for the University of Pennsylvania during his days with the Red and Blue, L. John Clark got his real start in Penn Athletics on the river. As a freshman, Clark was literally dragged off the street by the Penn rowing team and, being a mere 6’6, rowed in the first boat the entire season.
As a sophomore, Clark left the friendly confines of the Schuylkill River for the hard green turf of Franklin Field. Leading the Quakers’ defense, Clark helped the Penn lacrosse team to a 7-3-1 overall record in 1961 and a Pennsylvania-Delaware Championship. He was also named Second-Team All-Ivy League after helping the Quakers hold their opponents to a 5.82 goals per game average.
Clark continued his same stellar play on the defensive end as a junior and was named a Middle Atlantic Division A-Team member, First-Team All-Ivy League and was a defensive All-American.
Clark’s exploits on Franklin Field did not stop at lacrosse. As a senior in 1962-63, he was named the Penn Athletic Team Manager of the Year for his work as the Head Manager of the Penn football team. When lacrosse season came rolling back around, Clark was more than ready. Although he had never won an Ivy League title, his defensive prowess earned him national recognition once again as Clark was named a defensive All-American for the second-consecutive season and remains one of just two players in Penn lacrosse history to do so. He was also named First-Team All-Ivy League and was the MVP of the Middle Atlantic States Division.
He remained busy throughout his senior year at Penn, and not just on the playing fields. Clark was selected the 1963 “Bowl” award winner, as selected by his peers at Penn and held the position of chief of the Sphinx Senior Honor Society, while also serving as battalion commander for the NROTC.
After graduation, Clark remained active in lacrosse, playing with the Long Island Lacrosse Club, the New York Lacrosse Club and the Philadelphia Lacrosse Club. But even more notable has been his continued involvement with the University of Pennsylvania. Clark is a current Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Trustees. He is also the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
In his most recent appointment as the Chairman of the Penn Men's Lacrosse Board, Clark helped raise monies to renovate the Leisman Family Women's Lacrosse Team Room as well as the 1988 Final Four Men's Lacrosse Team Locker Room and the Howard and Lauren Coale Team Room at Franklin Field in 2002, which was in turn dedicated the Avery Blake Athletic Complex in honor of his coach, Avery Blake.