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Jimmy Parker photo
Jimmy Parker photo
Jimmy Parker
Hometown: Gulfport, MS
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Coach Jimmy Parker is an outstanding championship pioneer softball coach who is a 37-year MAC member spending his entire career at Harrison Central High. Born in Gulfport, Jimmy graduated from Harrison Central and earned his college degrees at Pearl River Junior College and Southern Miss. Coach Parker began his coaching career at Harrison Central in 1986 as an assistant and established the slow pitch softball program at the school in 1992 and the fast pitch team in 1995.  In his 33-year tenure as head softball coach, he has led the Red Rebelettes to 30 district titles, 9 South State fast pitch crowns, and four fast pitch Class 6A state championships in.  His fast pitch teams have won 677 games with only 232 losses out of 909 games while his slow pitch squads have compiled 403 wins with 271 losses out of 674 games.  Overall, Coach Parker’s softball teams have played 1,583 games with 1,080 wins and 503 losses for a winning mark of 68%.  He is one of five original fast pitch softball coaches in the state when the MHSAA first sanctioned the sport in 1995.  Jimmy saw the sport grow from five programs to 18 teams in two seasons and then enough teams to form the state championship tournament.  A highly acclaimed coach, Jimmy has been named softball coach of the year by the Clarion Ledger in 2015, by the Sun Herald on 5 occasions, and by the MAC in 2016.  He was the district coach of the year four times and was named the National Federation of High School Sports softball coach of the year in 2014.  In 2022, he was selected as the National High School Athletic Association softball coach of the year. Overall, he is a 14-time softball coach of the year including the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame coach of the year in 2015.  Jimmy is a four-time MAC All-Star softball coach, one for slow pitch and three for fast pitch.  Coach Parker has been involved with the MAC as softball chairman for many years watching the growth of the MAC All-Star game to split squads to help promote the smaller school softball athletes.  He has been a frequent speaker at MAC and the Coast Clinics for many years.  Jimmy also volunteers to mentor younger coaches throughout the state.  Off the diamond, Coach Parker participates in the Tim Tebow “Night to Shine” program featuring proms for special needs persons.  He has also participated in the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Dream Home projects plus other St. Jude fundraisers.  Coach Parker is an extremely active church member at the Woolmarket Baptist Church.  In addition to membership in the MAC Coaches Hall of Fame, Jimmy was inducted into the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.