(NEXSTAR) – Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark has a reputation as a ferocious pass rusher, but he wasn’t always so sure where he belonged on a football field. Long before he took the journey to Tampa for the Super Bowl, he moved to Cleveland and found his potential.
Frank’s mother sent him from California to live with his father in the Glenville community when Clark was in eighth grade. By the time Clark entered high school, he was in need of a mentor.
“His dad saw him at one school on the west side and said, ‘My son can’t be there. He’s got to be under somebody like Ginn,”” recalls Glenville High School Head Coach Ted Ginn Sr., himself the father of an NFL player. “I remember him bringing him here and saying ‘you got to help me with my son.'”
Ginn says Clark showed up around 180 pounds and wanted to play every position on the football field.
“He wanted to play quarterback, he wanted to play running back, he wanted to play tight, end he wanted to play receiver,” recalled Ginn. “I said, ‘Frank, you are a defensive end.’ So I had to fight with him to play defensive end.”
Meanwhile, Clark was also excelling on the track, setting hurdles records that still stand. Ginn finally sat Clark on the bench part of his senior year until he agreed to play only defensive end.
“At defensive end, Frank could be out of position and jump right back in position and make the tackle, and I see him every day in the NFL do the same thing,” says Ginn.
Clark earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was drafted by Seattle in 2015 and was playing for the Seahawks when his father and three others died in a house fire. He credited his father for inspiring his efforts during last season’s Super Bowl run with Kansas City.
The Glenville graduate now offers that same inspiration to others.
“I think that it gives the next kid hope that you can achieve and I’m just proud because I know what it took to get there,” says his former coach.