Dennis Parker had no desire to coach football anymore when he resigned four years ago as head coach of Texas Lutheran University.
“I was tickled to death to be retired,” said Parker, who also was a head coach at North Texas and part of two high school staffs that won Texas state championships.
In 1983, he was the offensive coordinator for Texas state champion Converse Judson. In 1990, he led San Antonio Marshall to a Texas state championship as head coach.
Now, Parker has come out of retirement to try and deliver Idabel from the abyss. He’s doing it for just one reason.
“It’s my hometown,” Parker said.
Parker, a 1968 graduate of Idabel High School, was born in raised there. At age 64, he’s returned to his hometown to try and revive a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2006.
Idabel has just won three games the past two seasons, including going 1-9 last year.
Parker said his brother, Larry, who lives in Idabel, persuaded him to return and take the job.
“Idabel is a special place,” Parker said. “I was here for 18 years with five brothers. We had such great memories. We were good in the ‘60s when I was here. Hopefully, we are going to get Idabel back at the top of the food chain.
“I think I can build an athletic program across the board and leave a legacy.”
STIGLER SELECTED AS FAVORITE BUT LOSES KEY PLAYER
Stigler is once again the pick as the pre-season favorite in District 3A-8 by the coaches, but the Panthers suffered a major blow in the offseason.
Running back Trace Jackson tore an ACL during a 7-on7- camp in the summer and is lost for the season.
“He was probably our most dangerous kid coming into this season,” Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover said. “Now I am the next fastest guy on the team.”
Jackson had more than 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving last season.
The Panthers don’t have many seniors, but one is quarterback Dylan Bryant, who is moving from receiver to be this season’s signal caller. With Jackson out, the Panthers will rely more on Bryant’s arm this season.
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