Earl graduated from Shell Lake in 1921 and was a two sport athlete in football and baseball. He was team captain in both sports his senior year and athletic editor of the school newspaper. Prior to graduating from high school he served his country during WWI in the Army. He attended college at Superior Normal School before graduating from River Falls Teachers College in 1923. Earl came to Rice Lake High School as a science-biology teacher and Assistant Football Coach in 1945. He brought baseball back into the school in 1947, following WWII. Clanton has the best record in Rice Lake’s history as a baseball coach, having won 112 games and losing 48 for a .700 winning percentage. His teams won or tied 6 conference championships, 8 district championships, 2 sectionals, and played in the State tournament twice, in 1961 and 1964. In addition, he coached the Rice Lake American Legion Post 87 baseball team for 20 seasons, with equal success. Two of his players, Johnny Schieffer and Terry Olson, both pitchers, signed professional contracts with major leagues. Clanton was Rice Lake’s first recreation director, having been appointed in 1946, until his retirement in 1977. On June 7, 1991, a park on the north side of Rice Lake was dedicated in his honor. Earl Clanton Park contains two ball fields and one football field.