Parker lands coach/AD post

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 20, 2007

FRANKLIN—Brian Parker, who was most recently a special education teacher and football coach at Southampton High School, has been named athletic director and boys basketball coach at Highland County High School in Monterey.

He will also serve as recreation director for the county.

Parker, a 1988 graduate of Franklin High School and also a graduate of Virginia Tech, coached junior varsity football and basketball at Lakeland High School in Suffolk from 2004 to 2006. He was also a sports correspondent for The Tidewater News and Suffolk News-Herald.

Parker said Highland County, which is northwest of Staunton, near West Virginia, has the smallest school district in Virginia and is known as “Virginia’s Switzerland” because of its frequent snowfalls.

The school, which has about 100 students, does not have a football program.

“Not everyone wants to go to a place that small, but I think it’s a great opportunity and a great little place,” he said. “It’s up there in the mountains.”

Playing in the Pioneer District, the boys basketball program has been up and down, Parker said. But he is in the unique position of being able to build the program from the ground up as head of the recreation department.

“They have had some pretty decent teams,” he said. “I have the opportunity to build the recreation programs, and that will be a benefit, too. It might take a while, but it can be done.”

Ironically, Parker found out about the job through a Franklin connection: Bill Shirley, the coach he played high school football under, who is now the running backs coach at Bridgewater University.

Parker is scrambling to get situated in Highland County. Because of a large number of snow days (21 last year), school opens on Aug. 20. He will be looking for places to live this weekend and attending basketball camps next week.