Monday, June 14, 2010

SPORTS >> After one season, Beebe basketball coach moves on

IN SHORT: Parker lands with Midsouth Community College as Badgers begin search for replacement, hope to find continuity.

By Todd Traub
Leader sports editor

Beebe boys basketball coach Chris Parker has resigned after one season to take a job at Midsouth Community College in West Memphis.

The Badgers were 4-25 under Parker in his lone season after replacing Brian Martin, who left the previous year to coach his alma mater Greenwood.

“You take a chance but you try to plan around that,” said Beebe athletic director Jerry Jordan of the departures.

Jordan said the school would try to find Parker’s replacement as quickly as possible.
“Ideally it would be to fill it in the next couple of weeks, but we don’t know if that’s going to be realistic,” Jordan said.

Jordan said Beebe was advertising the vacancy in newspapers, online and through the Arkansas Activities Association.

“We’re in the process of bringing some candidates together to interview,” Jordan siad.
With Parker leaving after one year and his predecessor Martin leaving after two, Beebe, which last won a state boys basketball championship in 1941, is looking for someone wanting to make a long-term commitment as coach, Jordan said.

“I think what we have to have is someone who may want to settle in our community,” Jordan said. “It had been an issue to be honest. We’ve had some good coaches here. One was here two years but he left to go back to his hometown, you can’t blame a person for that.

“Coach Parker came to us and had a chance to go back to the college ranks, his first love.”

Jordan said it is hard to build a winning program without consistency at the top.
“Yes, it’s definitely been a disadvantage to our kids,” Jordan said. “One of the things we’re really hoping we can do is find someone who can add some stability to our program.”

But the ideal candidate also needs to be a quality coach and not just a Beebe homebody, Jordan said. The Badgers, who had no seniors last season and return four this year, will compete in the 5A-East Conference with Batesville, Blytheville, Forrest City, Greene Co. Tech, Nettleton, Paragould and Wynne.

“We want to try to find somebody that has some good experience because we’re in a tough league,” Jordan said. “Blytheville, Greene Co. Tech and Wynne, they’re state
contenders every year and we’ve got to have somebody that knows what they’re doing.”

Jordan said the rest of the basketball staff would handle duties like camps and sanctioned workouts until Parker’s replacement is found.