| Sports |

Jesse Parker, Legendary Local High-School Football Coach, Named to National Hall of Fame

Parker allowed us into his locker room--a rather frightening place at times -- and into his much-more-comfortable home for an up-close-and-personal look at a complicated man and his controversial program.

We came to admire and respect Coach Parker, as much for his hardscrabble back story, the tale of an old-school guy raised in rural Ada, Oklahoma, as anything else. 

Parker retired as a coach a few years ago (his last head coaching job was a successful stint at Gilbert High), finishing with several state titles and the second-most wins (309) of any Arizona high-school football coach.

But we will remember him as much for his excellence in the classroom as for his ability to get the most out of his usually undersized football players. Parker taught Advanced Placement history classes at Mountain View, and he was an absolutely riveting instructor -- truly memorable.

Yes, the guy was a miserable loser (just about the worst we've seen), and his players made sure that didn't happen too often. Fear does funny things to kids.

In a few days, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Coach Parker will be inducted into the National High School Coach Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association annual meeting.

From our perspective, this a well-deserved accolade, and we are happy for the coach and his wonderful wife, Latsy.

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