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'Canes Hire Clark As Coach

Perry Clark, who led Tulane to seven postseason tournaments in 11 years, was picked Thursday as the new coach at the University of Miami, where a renewed program is just getting used to NCAA berths.

"I came here because of the success it has had in recent years," Clark said at an afternoon news conference at the UM campus in suburban Miami. "It puts us in a position to continue going upward."

Clark said that leaving Tulane "was hard and difficult thing for me. The program was like a child that I have raised."

But he said that at Miami, "I see the opportunity in a program that has reached a certain level but is not maxed out."

Miami athletic director Paul Dee and the school's Board of Trustees gave final approval Thursday to hiring Clark as Leonard Hamilton's successor.

Clark was expected to sign a five-year contract worth $750,000 a year, but school officials refused to confirm that or give any contract details.

Hamilton left Miami last month to become coach of the NBA's Washington Wizards. He coached the Hurricanes to six straight winning seasons and three straight trips to the NCAA tournament, reaching the round of 16 this year.

Clark, 48, beat out finalists Gary Waters of Kent, Seth Greenberg of South Florida and Miami interim head coach Dwight Freeman. Greenberg withdrew from consideration Wednesday afternoon after "carefully evaluating the situation."

Delaware's Mike Brey and Creighton's Dana Altman also withdrew after meeting with Dee. In all, Dee spoke with eight possible replacements, including former Hurricanes star Rick Barry and Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino.

Miami decided on Clark just in time for the summer recruiting period that starts Saturday.

Clark, a finalist for the Georgia Tech and Illinois jobs earlier this year, took over the Tulane program in 1988. Within four years, he led the Green Wave to a 22-9 record, a national ranking and the NCAA tournament.

Tulane made three NCAA and four NIT appearances under Clark.

The Green Wave hired Clark, an assistant at Georgia Tech under Bobby Cremins for six years, to rebuild the program after it had been dismantled following a point-shaving scandal.

Clark, a Washington, D.C. native and former player at DeMatha Catholic High, credits much of his success to his mentors, Cremins and DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten.

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