With him seated on his usual spot on the Jonesboro Lady Hurricane bench, it's hard to visualize Coach Phil Parker having anything to do with a fall Saturday evening in Baton Rouge, La.
A wild night in south Louisiana contrasts Parker's
reserved coaching demeanor.But that's the difference between being an LSU football fan and coach of a perennial volleyball power."Baton Rouge is awesome," said Parker, who spent seven years at LSU while earning his bachelor's and master's degrees.
"Good food and nice weather.I've still got a lot of friends down there and I go back every summer.
" And I love LSU
football.Tiger Stadium, what they say about it on Saturday night, it's true....Those Cajuns, they're nuts.
seat on the Jonesboro bench only to motion in substitutions or call a rare timeout, never to berate an official or yell at a player.
always really calm and he's
always been that way, "said Lady Hurricane senior outside hitter Kristin Etter, who was the MVP of last year's Class AAAAA State Tournament."I've never seen him get mad. "
The Lady Hurricane have not given Parker many reasons for emotional outbursts this season.The defending state champions are 35-0 and the odds-on favorite to win this week's state tournament, which begins Thursday at Cabot High School
Jonesboro finished 39-2 a year ago, with juniors providing the bulk of the Lady Hurricane's firepower.
...A 1973 graduate of Jonesboro, Parker has spent 21 years at Jonesboro High School and 20 years as the Lady Hurricane's head coach.
The job was originally a temporary assignment.
" The first year they hired me, [the coach] wanted out, "Parker
said."Our principal asked me to do it with the stipulation that the next year they would get somebody that knew something.It was my first year.I wasn't going to say no to anything.I did it that first year thinking that would be it."I really liked it and they asked me if I'd do it another year.I was green and still am in a lot of ways.
With six state titles and 14 consecutive conference crowns added to his
has good reasons to like the sport."I think it's a great game," Parker
said."It's a game of quickness and skill.I think it's so much fun to watch.I'm tickled to be coaching volleyball."
And, in all that time, Parker's coaching philosophy has remained the same."I think the best thing you can do with the kids is stay positive," Parker
said."It's been my experience that if you're negative with them, they're going to be negative back.And if you're positive with them, you'll get positive back.I just think the best thing is to be positive with them and try to focus on what to do."
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