Llano High School has a new girls athletics coordinator and head cross country and girls basketball coach, announced Llano Independent School District athletics director Matt Green. It’s Jay Parker.
Parker served as the Shallowater High School head boys cross country and girls assistant basketball coach for the last four years including during the 2019-20 season when the Lady Fillies won the basketball Class 3A state championship. One player on that team was Paige Parker, the coach’s daughter, who graduated in 2022. Chuck Darden retired as the Lady Fillies head coach at the end of the 2021-22 school year after getting his 1,000th career win in 42 years.
Prior to being hired at Shallowater, Parker was the head basketball and cross country coach at Muleshoe High School for three years, the girls head basketball coach and cross country coach at Coahoma High School, and the head boys basketball coach at Copperas Cove High School.
“Anytime you can bring someone with state championship experience is clearly a good thing,” Green said of Parker. “I posted the job, and he sent me his stuff. He has experience coaching both on the boys side and the girls side. I think he started his career on the girls side. He has a lot of experience coaching cross country and boys and girls basketball.”
The athletics director noted that Shallowater and Llano mirror each other in many ways because of the success of the cross country and basketball programs. Both programs have loyal fans and parents who want to be in the know of what’s happening with their children. Parker understands and embraces that, Green said.
“He helped contribute to the success of both programs,” he said. “It speaks to the character and pride in both. We want to hire people who want to be apart of bringing that to the program. Coach Parker came across as a true professional and has served as an assistant at the highest level. He interviewed well. He has very good people skills.”
Green said the job drew plenty of interest, and he was pleased with those who applied.
“I had a great candidate pool,” he said. “I was very surprised at the super high quality candidates. It was very exciting.”
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