Parker Steps Down As Head Coach Of Boys Basketball Program

Oskaloosa Boys Basketball Head Coach Ryan Parker. (file photo)

by Jamie Brockman

Oskaloosa News has learned that Oskaloosa Boys Basketball Coach Ryan Parker has resigned his coaching position at the school, citing health and family as the reason for his resignation.

Parker informed the team on Wednesday that he would not be returning as Coach, but will continue his duties as Activities Director at the school.

Parker took over as Head Coach in the 2014-2015 season. At that time, Oskaloosa basketball was struggling and won just one game the previous season.

Over his six years, Oskaloosa was blessed with talented players such as Jared Kruse, Cole Henry, Xavier Foster, Tanner DeKock, Austin Hafner, Rian Yates, Spencer Tucker and more, all of which have moved on to compete at the collegiate levels.

The team made quick progress going 6-16 each of Parker’s first two seasons, then upped that to 15-9 his third season. Years four and five are where huge strides were made, and Parker etched his name into Oskaloosa Basketball history. The team went a combined 42-9, qualifying for back to back State Tournaments, resulting in a runner up finish in 2018 and the school’s first-ever State Championship in 2019.

This past season, however, Parker’s health worsened, resulting in a kidney transplant in January 2020. After coaching the season opener at Fairfield December 3rd, Parker informed the team he would be stepping away from the bench to concentrate on dialysis treatments leading up to his transplant. Assistant Coach DaJuan Foster took over the head coaching duties. On top of the early season coaching change, frequent player illnesses and injuries made the adjustment even tougher, and the team struggled to find wins.

Parker’s recovery went miraculously well, and he was medically cleared to return much quicker than initially thought. On February 11th, Parker returned to the bench, and the team won four of their last seven games, advancing to sub-state for the fourth straight year, but the goal of a third consecutive trip to State fell short at the hands of Pella. The Indians finished just 10-14 overall and were at the bottom of the LHC.

I spoke with Parker via text on Wednesday, and he said, “I just need to focus on my health and my family. I don’t want another team to go through what this year’s team went through, and with my health, I can’t guarantee that won’t happen again.” Parker added, “I’m currently healthy and feeling good, but I have 11, 9, and 5-year-old kids to think about, and these health issues opened my eyes a ton.”

In his six seasons at Oskaloosa, Parker amassed a record of 79-64, and for his 12-year coaching career, which included time in Missouri, he has a 207-107 record.

Parker said they need to advertise for the head coaching position and hope to have a new coach named in the next month.

Posted by on May 6 2020. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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