Harrison Central High Coach Wins National Honor

Harrison Central High Coach Wins National Honor

(HARRISON COUNTY, MS) July 7, 2022 – Harrison Central High Softball Coach Jimmy Parker recently received two of the most coveted honors in coaching, both on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and on the national level! In early June, he was inducted into the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame. Now, he is the recipient of the 2022 National Softball Coach of the Year award, an honor that was given by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association during its national convention in Altoona, Iowa.

Coach Parker was nominated by the MSHAA, beating out seven other finalists for this prestigious recognition based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years, and winning percentage. Coach Parker has had a long and outstanding career in the Harrison County School District.

Coach Parker attended Lizana Elementary and Harrison Central High, so he is a lifelong product of the Harrison County School System. He started teaching at Bel-Aire Elementary in 1986 and was an assistant baseball coach at Harrison Central from 1986-1994. He also served as the 9th-grade assistant football coach from 1986-1989. Coach Parker taught at North Gulfport Middle School in 1991, and he took over the Red Rebelettes softball program as head coach that same year. Under his leadership, the Rebelettes won the state title in 2002, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Check out these impressive stats:

1,057 High School Softball Wins

4 Fastpitch State Championships (2002, 2014, 2015, and 2016)

9 South State Championships (2000, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

31 District Championships

17 Top four finishes in the state standings

47 State playoff appearances

Playoff record: 227-94

6 Players named All-Americans

19 Players named All-State

76 Players signed letters to play college softball

2022 - National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Softball National Coach of the Year

2022 - Inducted into the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame

2014 – Named National Federation of High Schools Softball Coach of the Year

2015 - Named State Softball Coach of the Year by both the Mississippi Association of Coaches and the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame

2002 & 2016 - Named State Softball Coach of the Year by the Clarion-Ledger Newspaper

2000, 2002, 2008, 2014 & 2016 - Sun Herald South Mississippi Softball Coach of the Year

2013, 2015, 2017 & 2021 - Regional Softball Coach of the Year

“I have been blessed with many dedicated and hardworking young ladies over the years who have helped us achieve much success, not only on the field but more importantly, off the field in the game of life. I also have dedicated and loyal assistant coaches: Sherri Davis from 1993 to the present, Ron Weatherly from 1999- 2016, and Marty Lavender from 2011-present. Definitely, other assistant coaches through the years have contributed to our success. I owe a great thanks to so many people that have worked to make our softball program successful. Without any of these mentioned above, I would not have the resume I have,” said Coach Parker.

Coach Parker graduated from Pearl River Junior College with an Associate’s Degree and then from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Sports Administration. In 1995, he returned to USM and completed his Master’s Degree. Coach Parker has been married to his wife, Cecellia, for 35 years. Their only daughter, Darbi, will begin her journey as a teacher and track coach at West Wortham Middle School in the upcoming school year.

Congratulations, Coach Jimmy Parker on your well-deserved national recognition!

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