Dwight Edward Clark (born
January 8, 1957 in Kinston, North Carolina) is a retired American athlete who
was a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1987. He played college football at Clemson
University before being drafted by the 49ers in the 10th round
of the 1979 entry draft.
Arrival at the 49ers
, the head coach of the
, went to Clemson to evaluate that school's promising
. While there, Walsh discovered Clark. According to a story
Clark shared while being interviewed on WDNC radio on
July 31, 2007, Walsh had called the number for the dormitory room where Fuller and Clark were living,
hoping to reach Fuller.
Instead, Clark, who was on his way
out to play golf
, answered the phone. Upon
learning that Fuller was not in, Walsh asked Clark to identify
himself, and invited Clark to run routes for Fuller so Walsh could
watch Fuller more closely.
Bill Walsh drafted Dwight Clark as the first pick of the 10th round
of the 1979 NFL draft. Clark embarked on a stellar career for 49ers
in which he had 506 catches for 6750 yards and 48 touchdowns, along
with 50 rushing yards. He led the NFL in receptions (60) during the
strike shortened 1982 season
made the Pro Bowl
twice in 1981
his 9 NFL seasons.
After Walsh drafted Clark, he made Clark and Montana practice a
certain 20 yard roll-out "Hail Mary" into end zone pass at the end
of every practice. Walsh wanted to make sure that they could
complete that certain pass in the red zone.
Clark's most memorable touchdown came in the
1982 NFC Playoffs
. On January 10, 1982, against the Dallas Cowboys
, the San Francisco 49ers
were trailing 27–21
in the final minute of play to advance to the Super Bowl
. Clark leaped and caught a
six-yard pass from quarterback Joe
in the back of the end zone to give the 49ers a 28–27
victory. That play, one of the most famous in the history in the
NFL, has been immortalized as "The
" practiced as the "Hail Mary." Clark finished the game
with eight receptions for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.
During the 1981 season, Coach Walsh had Montana and Clark routinely
practice the 20-yard end-zone throw after regular practice.
Retirement and Legacy
After eight successful seasons with San Francisco 49ers
, Dwight Clark
retired after 1987 NFL season. Clark was a member of two Super Bowl
winning teams. To honor Clark's contribution to 49ers, the club
retired his number 87. After retirement, he has served as a team
executive for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns
Clark has also appeared in the video game, All-Pro Football 2K8
born in Kinston,
North Carolina and graduated from Garinger High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He and Miss USA of 1980, Shawn
, were college sweethearts at Clemson University.
accompanied her to Seoul, South Korea, for the Miss Universe
contest, where she proceeded to win the Miss Universe
Clark also starred in the low-budget comedy Kindergarten
as football player Blade Steel in 1994.
He currently resides in Charlotte, NC. He has three children, two
sons, Riley and Mac, and one daughter, Casey. Clark is currently
involved in the “Custom Home” building business in Charlotte, NC.
(Dwight Clark Development, LLC)