Dave Parker was born on March 1, 1944, to Corwin and Violet (Hinman) Parker in Medina, Ohio. He attended Buckeye Local Schools where he played football, basketball and baseball graduating from Buckeye High School in 1962. In the summers during high school and after graduation, Dave received his orientation to fast pitch softball as a player on the Abbeyville Merchants team, in the small community of Abbeyville outside of Medina, Ohio.
After high school Dave attended The Ohio State University for two years majoring in Business Administration. Not feeling particularly fulfilled with this choice, he worked in a machine shop for a year or so. During this time he met his future wife, Carol, and decided that working toward a career in teaching and coaching would be more rewarding. He then enrolled at Kent State University, attended classes, and continued to work at the machine shop whenever he could. Dave and Carol were married on March 19, 1966, and with Carol’s support and understanding, Dave graduated from Kent State in June 1968 with a BS in Education.
In the fall of 1968 Parker began his career as a teacher and a coach in the Loudonville-Perrysville Schools teaching Health and Physical Education and coaching the freshman football team and the varsity baseball team. As time progressed, he also taught Driver Education, some business classes, and ended with twenty-one years as the Occupational Work Experience Coordinator. His original intention was to stay at Loudonville for a couple of years and move to another district as head football coach. As it turned out LHS kept him too busy to look for another job by allowing him to coach sixty sports seasons over his thirty-one year coaching career.
Dave Parker’s contributions to the success of the Loudonville High School athletic program included thirty-one seasons as an Assistant Football Coach, fourteen seasons as the Head Varsity Softball Coach, six seasons as an Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, one season as the Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, one season as seventh grade Girls Basketball Coach, five seasons as a Head Varsity Baseball Coach, and two seasons as an Assistant Track Coach.
During Parker’s tenure as an Assistant Football Coach, the varsity teams he helped coach accumulated a record of 186 wins, 121 losses and 4 ties. In that time LHS made four appearances in the Ohio State High School Football Playoffs, highlighted by a State Runner-up finish to end the 1990 season.
In 1981 Dave Parker was offered the opportunity to develop the new varsity softball program at LHS, a few years after some other local schools had established their teams. It didn’t take long to catch up and meet success as the second-year 1982 squad qualified for the Regional Tournament. Before his career ended, the Redbirds accumulated a team record of 252 win and 67 losses for a winning percentage of .794. Successes included eleven Section Championships, six District Championships, and three Regional Championships, qualifying as the State Semi-finalists in 1985, finishing as State Runner-up in 1991 and winning the State Championship in 1993. The 1993 Champions were enshrined in the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 as one of the Great Teams of the Past. The Lady birds won six Conference Championship – five consecutive in the Mohican Area Conference from 1990 thru 1994 during which time Parker was named Conference Coach of the year each season. Dave was also named Ashland Times-Gazette Softball Coach of the Year in 1993 and Northeast Ohio Softball Coach of the Year in Division III in 1992. Over all, the Birds posted thirteen winning seasons in fourteen years.
Parker retired from coaching the LHS softball team after the 1994 season, as an assistant football coach after the 1999 season and from teaching at LHS after the 2003 school year. He still keeps in contact with the Loudonville High School students and staff while serving as a substitute teacher and as a substitute for office personnel.
Dave and Carol have three children. Randy, living in Avon, Ohio, is the Director of Operations for a national media consultant company. Jenny, married to Ryan Baynes, is a Teacher’s Aid in the Loudonville-Perrysville Schools. They have two sons, Joshua and Jarryd, and live in Loudonville. Cheryl lives in Cleveland and works as a Supervisor in the Adult Probation Division of the Cuyahoga County Courts.
In the summer of 2008 the Parkers sold the home they had built and lived in for thirty-four years to fulfill a long time dream of becoming full-time RVers. They bought a thirty-eight foot long Montana fifth-wheel trailer and a Heavy Duty Chevy pick-up truck and now enjoy a life of leisure. During summer months they can be found on Chautauqua Lake in Western New York. For the spring and fall months they make their home in Loudonville. When the weather turns cold in the winter, Dave and Carol take their trailer to Leesburg, Florida.
Dave wants to express his thanks and gratitude to all those who contributed to his career. The administrators, fellow teachers, fellow coaches, school support personnel, players, parents, fans, and especially his family made his time in the Loudonville-Perrysville community very memorable and enjoyable. Loudonville was a truly a great place to live, teach, coach and raise a family.
Nominator: Randy and Carol Parker, and Ron Pratt