Bruce Native Parker Named Head Football Coach at Northwest CC
SENATOBIA, Miss. (WCBI/NWCCRangers.com) — Northwest wasted no time replacing Jack Wright, promoting from within less than 48 hours after his resignation.
Benjy Parker, the Rangers’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons, informed the team during a meeting on Wednesday that he has agreed to become Northwest’s next head coach.
“I want to thank Dr. Spears and the administration at Northwest for giving me the opportunity to be its next head football coach,” Parker said. “Northwest is a great environment to work in with great people. Me and my family have enjoyed our two years here and we’re excited to stay Rangers. I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity and am looking forward to getting to work.”
Parker, like his predecessor, will be a first-time head coach. His experience at the Division I level at Troy University and previous playing and coaching experience around the MACJC made Parker a very strong candidate to replace Wright.
“We’re really excited to have Benjy as our next head football coach,” Skelton said. “We feel like he was instrumental in the team’s success last year during our national championship run. It was a big goal of ours to keep our staff in tact after Jack’s resignation. The cohesiveness of our staff and returning players will hopefully help us continue our success moving forward.”
Prior to Northwest, the Bruce native spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Troy University, one with the defensive secondary and seven coaching linebackers. Parker is well-known in the Mississippi Junior College ranks and proved to be beneficial in recruiting that area for the Trojans.
Troy won five consecutive Sun Belt Championships and posted five consecutive 8-win seasons from 2006-10. The Trojans also played in four bowl games in his eight seasons, including winning the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl twice, 41-17 over Rice in 2006 and 48-21 over Ohio in 2010.
Prior to his stint at Troy, Parker served as the defensive coordinator at Northeast Mississippi Community College for two seasons (2004-05). At Northeast, Parker helped turn the Tigers into a national powerhouse, and in his final season, the Tigers were ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation and finished with a 7-2 overall record.
Prior to his two successful seasons at Northeast, Parker spent five seasons as linebackers coach at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kan. He coached four NJCAA All-Americans at Butler and helped the Grizzlies to the 2003 NJCAA National Championship.
Parker’s other coaching experience includes a season as a grad assistant at Louisiana-Monroe in 2000 and two seasons at Jones County Junior College where he helped the Bobcats to a perfect 12-0 record during the 1998 season and NJCAA National Championship.
Parker played at Itawamba Community College (1996-97), later earned his bachelor’s in exercise science from Ole Miss (1998) and finished his master’s degree in education at William Carey College (2000).
Parker is the 30th head coach in program history and fourth in five seasons for the reigning national champions. Northwest will kickoff the 2016 season at Hinds on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m.