Ouachita Baptist University senior starting defensive lineman for the Tiger football team Clark Yarbrough died Sept. 4 following a sudden collapse, the Arkansas Baptist News reported. Yarbrough, of Rowlett, Texas, was 21.
Ouachita staff provided immediate emergency assistance, and following additional measures by emergency responders and other medical professionals, Yarbrough was pronounced dead at Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia, ABN reported.
A business administration/sport management major and member of the Tiger football team, Yarbrough was remembered on campus for the example he set as a leader, a scholar-athlete, a friend and a man of faith.
“Clark was an exemplary student — academically, athletically and spiritually,” said Rickey Rogers, vice president for student development at Ouachita. “He held strongly to his Christian faith, and it was evident in the way he lived his life and led his fellow students.”
Yarbrough earned a spot on the Tigers’ starting lineup in 2021, earning All-Great American Conference honorable mention accolades for his efforts on the field. Although he was a senior academically, he had two years of football eligibility remaining, including the 2022 season.
Todd Knight, head Tiger football coach, said the team will be greatly impacted by the loss of their highly-regarded teammate.
“We were already playing for a purpose, but now there’s an added sense of motivation,” he said. “It’s something we are going to take very seriously.
“Clark was that kind of young man, always thinking and preparing for what’s next,” Knight added. “He wanted to be an athletic director and was already making plans for internships and graduate school.”
Knight described Yarbrough as a quiet leader who lived out his favorite Bible verse, James 4:10, which says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Helping those ‘who needed a voice’
As a third-year resident assistant in Ouachita’s Anthony Hall dormitory, Yarbrough “served each resident respectfully and helped many students who needed a voice or a helping hand,” said Quantel Williams, director of residence life at Ouachita. “Clark lived life to the fullest and will be missed tremendously across campus.”
Williams noted, “Clark was someone you wanted on your team. He always had a great disposition that illuminated the room and was a pleasure to be around each day. Clark loved the Lord, his family and his friends in a big way.”
In the wake of Yarbrough’s death, the university scheduled two opportunities this week on campus for staff from Counseling Services and Campus Ministries to be available to the Ouachita community. Additional information about memorial services will be announced as it is available.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Ouachita Baptist University and published by Arkansas Baptist News.