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Clarion University Football Announces Mark Speckman as Offensive Coordinator

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Joanne Bauer

Speckman_Mark_aCLARION, Pa. – Clarion University football coach Raymond Monica announced on Monday that Mark Speckman–a highly respected offensive coach with more than four decades in the profession–will take over as the Golden Eagles’ offensive coordinator for 2022.

A pioneer of the “Fly offense,” he takes the role previously held by Pete Collins, who accepted a position on the staff at the University of Pittsburgh.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Mark to Clarion to become part of our football program,” Monica said. “The things he’s accomplished as a coach over the course of his career rank him among the best in the profession. This is a major addition to our program and a benefit to our student-athletes.”

Speckman recently completed his fifth season as the assistant head coach and running backs coach at UC Davis, which marked his 40th season overall in the coaching ranks. Throughout UC Davis’ 2018 Big Sky championship season, it was his unit that added another dangerous dimension to the Aggies’ offense. Led by Jerry Rice Award finalist Ulonzo Gilliam (the first Aggie national finalist in program history for this honor, given to the top freshman player in the country) and his program-record 17 touchdowns, Speckman helped this unit finish as one of the top offenses in the country. Under Speckman’s tutelage, the Aggies rushed for 2,159 yards and were responsible for 27 of the team’s touchdowns throughout a historic season that included new program records for the most overall (10) and Big Sky (7) victories in a single season.

During the 2017 campaign, his first with the program, the Aggies ended the season as the top-ranked offense in the Big Sky Conference for the first time in team history. Helping UC Davis accomplish that feat was the play of his running backs unit, responsible for nearly 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Before accepting the position at UC Davis, Speckman spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Division III Lawrence, located in Wisconsin. Before that, he spent two seasons as the running backs and tight ends coach of the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Montreal Alouettes, holding those posts in 2013-14. That included the Alouettes’ East Division final appearance in 2014.

Speckman spent a total of 15 years as a collegiate head coach, including the 2012 season at Menlo College. He served just that one season with the Oaks, leading his team to a school record for total rushing yards.

Some of his greatest accomplishments came at Willamette, where he started in 1995 as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Dan Hawkins. Their working relationship would eventually lead to their respective stints with the Alouettes as well as UC Davis. With Speckman heading the offensive staff, Willamette won three straight conference championships and advanced in the NAIA playoffs in 1996-97, the latter of which saw the Bearcats in the national championship game.

Hawkins left after the 1997 season and Speckman took over as head coach, starting a 14-year run of success that included conference championships and coach of the year laurels. Speckman guided Willamette to an 82-59 record in 14 years, including two Northwest Conference championships, eight league title games and three NCAA Division III postseason appearances. Speckman’s 2008 team finished 11-1 and ranked fourth nationally, earning him his second Northwest Conference Coach of the Year award and AFCA Division III West Region Coach of the Year acclaim.

Formerly a Hall of Fame linebacker at Menlo and an honorable-mention NAIA All-American at Azusa Pacific, Speckman began his coaching career with brief but successful stints at Livingston High School and Gilroy High School. It was during those early years that he introduced the “Fly offense,” a system for he which he has since written articles and released two video series. It is a sophisticated scheme that has served him throughout his coaching career.

However, Speckman’s greatest success at the high school level came in Merced, California. In eight seasons, he guided Merced High to 81 wins, back-to-back 14-0 seasons, six Central California Conference championships and two Sac-Joaquin Section titles. Speckman’s 1990 Bears team ranked No. 1 in California and No. 5 in USA Today. Then in 1994, when a new high school opened in Merced, Speckman assumed the helm at Golden Valley High, where he started a varsity program despite having only sophomore and junior players. His overall 113-48-3 record as a high school coach then earned him a spot on Hawkins’ staff at Willamette.

Speckman has more recently earned induction into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame for his achievements at Merced and Livingston high schools. It marks his third such honor, along with the Menlo College Hall of Fame and the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to coaching football, Speckman has also become well-known for his motivational speaking engagements. Born without hands, he avoided drawing attention to himself as a younger athlete but has since embraced his own story to the point of earning numerous speaking appearances, including bookings at Boeing, Nike, Northwest Mutual, Patterson Dental, the Million Dollar Roundtable and other organizations. Speckman also co-authored a book called Figure It Out: How I Learned To Live In A Digital World Without Digits in 2009.

Speckman’s son, Tim, followed him into the coaching world, currently working with an American team in the top level of German football. Tim also joined Mark in the Swedish National Team’s summer clinic, along with Aggie coaches Dan Hawkins, Robert Tucker, Jerry Brady and Cody Hawkins.

Speckman earned his associate degree from Menlo in 1975, then added a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science as well as his teaching credential from Asuza Pacific in 1977. He earned his Master’s in Health and Human Services from Columbia Pacific (San Rafael) in 1994. Speckman and his wife Sue have two daughters, Lisa and Julie, who live and work in New York City.

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