But Who Is Coaching Right Now? GERAD PARKER, THAT’S WHO!
With all the talk about head coaches being fired, who could be hired, and Aneesh tirelessly churning out #content (seriously, somebody throw some water on that guy because he’s on fire this week), we shouldn’t forget to talk about Purdue’s new interim head coach.
When Commodore Hazell was relieved of his duties on Sunday, Gerad Parker ascended to the bridge of the ship to take over. Never mind the lack of a rudder or any navigational tools! Lt. Parker is up to the task!
But who is Gerad Parker, other than a guy whose parents weren’t sure how to spell “Jared”? Well, Coach Parker is just 35 years old and, naturally, has dreamed of being a head coach for a while. Whether or not he’ll ultimately be coaching at a Power 5 job in the coming years is debatable, but he’s doing it for the next six games (plus, the Big Ten Championship and a bowl game, if necessary). Parker is just 35 years old and was previously the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach for Purdue under Coach Hazell.
Parker played wide receiver at Kentucky under three head coaches: Hal Mumme, Guy Morriss and Rich Brooks. The best season while he was at UK was 2002 when they went 7-5. Otherwise, it was like most Kentucky football seasons – depressing. So he knows what he’s facing here, I’d say.
Coach Parker then immediately went into coaching, starting at the high school level before doing stints at UK, Marshall, UT-Martin and starting in 2013, at Purdue.
He’s from West Virginia originally and is ready to give this a go. Honestly, he’s in a not completely awful position because the season sort of already feels like a dumpster fire, but the team is only 3-3. If he were to eke out one or two victories, it would be a terrific accomplishment, a nice resume booster and would ingratiate him to the Purdue fan/alum base.
That said, I think he’d have to win out to have a shot at the job on a permanent basis. In the meantime, lead us onward, Coach Parker.