This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jay Clarke (’69). Jay’s details of wrestling under Coach Dick Miller were a great insight into part of the history here at W&L. As you can see in the picture Coach Miller orchestrated one of the largest scoring monitors during the time. Also, officiating, rules, and strategy during this time were much different. For example, wrestling periods were 3-3-3 in length and there were no red/green starting lines. If there was no score at the end of a match, riding time was used to determine the outcome. If no opponent held this advantage the match was declared a draw. Jay was a member of both the football and wrestling teams during his career, serving as co-captain his last season. As a junior at 167 lbs. and senior at HWT Jay earned first place at the College Athletic Conference tournament and the W&L team finished second.
Jay Clarke’s competition days were not over after graduation. While working on his Master’s at James Madison, Jay started the wrestling program and was the coach for two years—going 1-4 and 9-9. During his Russian and Soviet History PhD program at the University of Maryland he stayed active by regularly working out with the varsity team. When Jay accepted a teaching position with the Navy his wrestling career continued. Jay spent most of his time on flagships of the 6th fleet Albany and Pugent Sound. Wrestling and boxing events were held aboard and Jay competed in one of the largest crowds of his memory. Jay was awarded outstanding wrestling honors for the competition. The opportunity to travel around the world landed him at the footsteps at the pyramids at Giza. Jay can be seen persuading a local tour guide for the chance to climb to the top; a successful Jay is shown at his destination. Jay continues to be active in his role as a historian and most recently authored: Alliance of the Colored Peoples: Ethiopia & Japan before World War II. Jay presently lives outside Lexington, VA and regularly attends wrestling competitions at W&L.