JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson High School has a new varsity head football coach in Jackson’s Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center Director Antonio Parker.
Parker is a Jackson High School alum and played on their football team between 1997 and 2001. He has been a coach for 18 years in the school system and spent six years at the middle school level. The last 12 years he was an assistant coach at Jackson High School serving as a defensive coordinator the past five years.
Parker was a junior when the team won their first playoff game in school history in 1999 against Battle Creek Central. Their second playoff win in school history came when he was an assistant coach in 2015, when the Vikings defeated Livonia Churchill.
“When our head coach told us that he was stepping down, I felt like my heart was pulling me to do that like a gut punch. It was like, ‘hey, it’s time to rock and it’s time to impact the future and chase my passion,’ and my passion is helping young people,” Parker said.
He is taking over for former head coach Scott Farley, who served in that role for nine years.
“My job now is going to be taking the program in the same direction but moving on to new heights and moving on to new levels winning some playoff games, winning some conference titles, winning the regional at some point, and then we’re going to make a run at the state title,” Parker said.
He will continue to serve as King Center director as well.
“As the head coach, the thing I’m looking forward to the most for now is the ability to have an impact on people,” Parker said. “We’re keeping score on the field, but the ability that when kids come back three, four, five or 10 years from now that they say, ‘Hey, you helped, and your coaching staff helped me become a better person.’”
The Vikings’ first practice is Aug. 9 and their first game is Aug. 26 at Monroe High School.
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