As both an athlete and coach, lifelong Midlander Jim Parker has been synonymous with winning and excellence. After a stellar career as a high school and collegiate athlete, Parker went on to be a highly successful coach in a variety of sports.
A 1970 graduate of Midland High School, Parker played on two State Championship baseball teams and a semi-finalist basketball team. He earned First Team All-Saginaw Area and was honored with the Jim Barclay Memorial Award. Over forty years later Parker still holds the Midland High season rebounding record. After high school he played on the 1970 Berryhill American Legion baseball team which was state runner-up. At Alma College he played basketball earning All-Conference Honors in 1974 and played on two MIAA Championship baseball teams, being selected All-MIAA three consecutive years and the MIAA Most Valuable Player in 1974. As an adult recreational player, he played on teams that have won two national championships, a national runner-up, a regional championship and 15 state championships. Parker was MVP of the national tournament in 2006.
The experiences and lessons ingrained in him as a player were carried on in his coaching career. In 1981-82, he led Blackburn College to the NLCAA National Basketball Championship, after which he was named NLCAA National Basketball Coach of the Year. In 2001-02, he led the Bullock Creek boys’ basketball team to the Class B State semi-finals for the only time in school history. He was selected Class B Associated Press Boys Basketball Coach of the Year that year. In 2005, after the Bullock Creek junior varsity baseball teams he had coached won 9 straight undefeated JV Tri Valley Conference Championships, he was named the MHSBCA Assistant Baseball Coach of the Year.
Parker was named twice, in 2001-02 for basketball and 2012 for baseball, as the Midland Daily News Coach of the Year. In 2014 he was honored as the Bob Stoppert Coach of the Year for Midland County for his performance as Bullock Creek baseball coach. The basketball teams he has coached have the most wins in the history of Blackburn College as well as the history of Bullock Creek High School. He coached high school volleyball for six seasons, winning five conference championships.