FAU Softball: Jordan Clark excited for her first season as head coach

Clark served for four years as an assistant coach at Ohio State before coming to FAU.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Jordan Clark during her time as an assistant coach at Ohio State.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

Florida Atlantic University named Jordan Clark as the new head coach for the Owls’ softball team earlier this year. She joined the program after being an assistant coach at Ohio State for four years.

Clark was a four-year standout playing softball at Miami University (OH) from 2009-12, where she was a two-time Mid-American Conference performer and the 2012 recipient of the MAC’s Nan Harvey Sportsmanship Award. Clark helped Miami to a pair of MAC Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament berths both in 2009 and 2012.

Before becoming FAU’s head coach, Clark’s former team played down here in February. While waiting for a game, Clark said one of the Ohio State players said, “Wow, this is where these girls go to school,” and thought it was the coolest place playing with palm trees along the outfield fence, sparking Clark’s interest.

“As the season went on, paying close attention, and an unfortunate situation, the opportunity presented itself. For me, this is a program that has had so much success in the past,” Clark said. “We are moving into the American [Athletic] Conference with more resources and opportunities, [and with] this being my first head coaching opportunity, I was like, ‘this could be really special and you get to make it into what you want to make it.’”

Under Joan Joyce, and eventually Chan Walker after Joyce’s death in March, the Owls went 29-26 in 2022, while accumulating Joyce’s 1000th win against North Texas just nine days before she passed. Their season ended with a 14-3 loss to Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA Tournament.

As the Owls’ new head coach, Clark is most excited to see the growth and see the girls start to believe in themselves.

“You went through tragedy and some adversity. And I see their faces light up every single day when we have been at practice. For me, the vision is to go out of C-USA with a bang. We finished [in the] top four last year and it’s to finish higher than that. Can we win a championship? Can we put some momentum going into the [AAC]?” Clark said.

She said athletes tend to get caught in the grind and in college, some players feel their value is their playing time.

“I want the girls to understand that I care about you as a person and I care about the team. We’re just trying to do it right so that our team knows at the end of the day, when we lose, win, make a mistake, we love you. And I think that’s the beauty of being a coach; it’s building the relationships. Winning just gets to come after that,” Clark said.

Clark said she believes the team will be a sleeper pick for some people, and that they will make surprises throughout the season.

“I think that this year, no one is going to expect FAU to be what I think we are going to be,” Clark said. “I feel like we have added some depth in the circle, we have some freshmen that are going to surprise some people, and some returners who are going to hit more power numbers in their whole career combined.” 

Clark thinks all eyes are on how the team will do this spring.

“I think that’s anywhere you go as a first-year head coach. I think anybody is looking to see if they can get better than where they were last year,” Clark said. “Sometimes, I feel a little bit of pressure because you want to make everyone around you proud. The human nature in you just wants to make it better than it is. Whether the results show on the field at first, I know they are eventually going to show up.”

With a roster of 26 girls, the softball team will bring more competition.

“I think we are going to be strong in the circle. We wanted to add depth. But I think we are going to be a team that looks a little bit different. We are going to have a mix between speed, power, and grittiness,” Clark said.

Senior outfielder Sara Berthiaume, who earned first-team All-Conference honors after leading C-USA with five triples last season, is very excited for the upcoming season.

“Coach Jordan is one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for already. Ever since I met her, we had this really good connection. She’s such a good person that she is willing to do anything for anyone,” Berthiaume said.

Senior shortstop Sommer Baker thinks the season will be an exciting one.

“She cares a lot about us as people, not just building us as softball players,” Baker said. “She’s also building us towards our career, outside life, and the relationships and connections that we are able to build for our future success. She’s definitely shown us that she wants us to be better people as well as softball players.”

Gianna Alberti is a staff writer at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected].