Sarkis “Coach Sark” Arslanian (1924-)
was born in Fresno, Calif., to immigrant parents from Armenia. He graduated from Granite High School in Salt Lake City in 1941, then enlisted with the Naval Air Corps, where he served as an officer in the South Pacific until the end of World War II. In 1949, he graduated from Dixie College, where he played football, basketball and ran track, and was class president. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a master’s degree from Utah State University.
He began coaching at Central Junior High in Salt Lake City, then continued at Union High School in Roosevelt. In 1955, he became athletic director and head coach in football, baseball and track at Dixie College. His recruiting efforts nearly doubled the size of the student body and were a stabilizing factor for the college. He left behind a nationally-ranked team at Dixie to take over as head football coach at Weber State College in 1965, where his teams were nationally ranked. From 1973-82, he was head coach at Colorado State University. He then became a professional scout for the CFL and USFL. He coached professional teams in Milan, Italy, and Tokyo, Japan, and introduced American football in Armenia.
After his retirement, he coached prep football teams in Colorado, Idaho, and at Pine View High School in St. George. Coach Sark is still noted as one of the most successful NCAA coaches, only 13 others had better records. Honors include the Pop Warner National Hall of Fame, Weber State Hall of Fame, Utah Sports Hall of Fame, All-American Football Foundation honoree, and Honorary Lifetime member of the Dixie Colonels Club, which he helped organize. He and his late wife, Verlyn Metcalf, are the parents of three sons and three daughters. Sark is currently married to Barbara Watson.