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Alfred University mourns loss of alumnus and former football player Nicholas Clark '11

Alfred University | 7/02/18

Nick Clark.  Photo from 2009

Nick Clark. Photo from 2009

The Alfred University community, including the athletic department and the Saxon football family, are today mourning the death of All-American linebacker Nicholas “Nick” F. Clark, ’11, who was killed in the line of duty in his role as a New York State trooper.

According to First Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Police, Chris Fiori, Trooper Nicholas Clark was responding to a “suicidal subject barricaded in his residence” in the town of Erwin, NY at approximately 3:30 a.m. alongside the New York State Police, Steuben County’s Sheriff’s Office and the Corning Police Department when he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Clark was a member of the 203rd Session Graduation Class of the New York State Police Academy’s Basic School in September of 2015 and transferred to State Police Bath Troop E in August 2017.

“The entire Alfred University community is reeling from the news that Nicholas Clark '11 was killed early this morning in the line of duty as a New York State trooper. This tragedy touches us in so many ways,” said Alfred University President Mark Zupan. “Nick was a wonderful young man, highly regarded for his community spirit, great heart, and unquestionable skills as a football player.  Whenever the Saxons got into a tough situation on the football field, the coaches sent in Nick Clark to get the job done.

“Nick’s mother, Theresa Gunn ’96 MBA ‘98, is an accounting professor with our College of Business and a valued member of our community.  Please join me in extending our condolences to Theresa and her family on Nick’s tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time,” Zupan said.

"Nick is one of the all-time greats that has ever worn the Purple & Gold and did so in a way that left a legacy that will never be forgotten,” Director of Athletics Paul Vecchio said. “Our heartfelt prayers and supportive thoughts go out to his family, including his mother, who is currently the Faculty Athletic Representative for the Division of Athletics. Nick’s passion was to serve others, and this led him to his position as a NYS Trooper. His passing underscores the incredible sacrifices and risks that these brave men and women make every day to keep our communities safe.”

Clark was a four-year letter winner for the Saxons, ending his career as one of the most decorated players in the program’s 120-year history. As a linebacker, he was a two-time All-America honoree while earning Empire 8 All-Conference honors three times, the Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year honor twice – the first in conference history to do so – and the Empire 8 Conference Merit Award. Post-graduation, Clark went on to participate in the Buffalo Bills (NFL) mini-camp in Orchard Park, NY.

“Words cannot express the loss that the Alfred University Football family has suffered,” Head Football Coach, Bob Rankl, said. “Nick was not only a great player, but also a great supporter of our program. Our prayers go out to his family.”

A 2011 graduate from AU with a degree in environmental studies, Nick came to Alfred after a year at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, where he received a wrestling scholarship. He returned in 2008 to be closer to home and chose Alfred University, where his mother is a member of the College of Business faculty.

He was a two-time state wrestling champion and standout football player at nearby Canisteo-Greenwood in Canisteo, NY. He is survived by his mother, Theresa Gunn; his father, Tony Clark; his brother, Nathan Clark; his step-father, Rick Gunn, and a step-brother, Rick Gunn. Clark was 29 years old.