JEFFERSONVILLE — Isaac Parker is returning to his roots.
The 1999 Jeffersonville graduate was officially approved as the school’s new head football coach at the Greater Clark County Schools board meeting Tuesday night.
Parker’s interest in the position can be traced back to his playing days for the Red Devils.
“I played football at Jeff, back in 95 to 99, was part of the Red Pride family under Coach [Bill] Ware,” Parker, 38, said. “Coach Ware made a profound impact in my life, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of at that point. I went on and played football for four years there, went on to college and played a couple years.
“[I] wanted to stay around the game and made my way back ... I guess I didn’t make my way back, I’m a lifer here in Jeff, so I decided to stay home. I was very honored, very blessed to land the position tonight.”
Parker was a lineman and punter for the Red Devils, then went on to play a couple of seasons at the University of Louisville.
“I went over there initially as a punter, but ended up playing D-line a couple years,” he said.
Parker, a Jeffersonville police officer, has been an assistant coach at Jeff the past four seasons.
“I was hired by Coach [Lonnie] Oldham in 2015, then when Coach [Alfonzo] Browning came he kept me on staff, and I coached with Coach [Brian] Glesing last year,” said Parker, who becomes Jeff’s third head coach in three years. “[I’m] very grateful that I had the opportunity to be an ingredient in their brands and I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to moving forward.”
Glesing guided the Red Devils to a 2-8 record in his only season before leaving for the head-coaching job at Paoli.
When it came time to interview to succeed Glesing, Parker couldn’t help but call on Ware, the school’s all-time winningest coach (125-69 from 1981-99).
“Coach Ware, he’s been out of the program, 20 years removed, he’s still as motivational as he was back in 1995,” Parker said. “He’s a good man, I called him, and actually I’m proud to say he’ll be a member of my staff as a head-coaching advisor.”
The Red Devils lost several key players from last season’s squad, but Parker has been pleased with what he’s seen so far.
“We’ve got a great group of young men that have been coming to conditionings while the administration was searching for a coach,” Parker said. “We have a great group that’s been coming back. We’ve got good numbers, we’re going to grind-out and put the best product that we can on the field this year.”