Sports

Football coach Terry Parker earns Hall of Fame status at Kentwood

Terry Parker misses coaching.

He was reminded of how much June 23 when Kentwood High School inducted him into its athletic Hall of Fame.

The Enumclaw resident was honored for his years spent as an assistant coach with the Conquerors football team and time as the school’s slowpitch softball mentor.

“My experience at Kentwood as a teacher and coach were just so formative,” Parker said. “To be able to work in that high-achieving environment, plus the energy of a new school was so much fun.”

Parker started with the Kent School District at Kentridge in 1978 and spent 10 years as an assistant football coach. When Kentwood opened in 1981 he made the move across town.

Parker led the 1985 Kentwood softball team to the school’s first state title. He also coached the girls to a third-place finish in 1984 and state runner-up in 1986.

On the football team, working under Hall of Fame coach Dave Lutes, the Conquerors made six playoff appearances from 1982-1988, including a runner-up finishes in 1988. The hard pill to swallow was the suspension of many starters days before the team’s state final appearance.

Parker recalls the 1988 state playoffs started with a bang. The Conquerors were facing top-ranked, undefeated Puyallup, the defending state champion, in the first round on the Vikings home field at Sparks Stadium. Billy Jo Hobert was their quarterback. In what Parker describes as an amazing game, the Conquorers won 36-26 in the closing seconds.

Which made Parker’s next move tough for a few months as he took the vice principal position in charge of athletics at Puyallup High.

The move marked a turning point in his career.

“I thought I would be a head football coach,” he said.

Instead he took the vice principal’s job and then later, in 1992, he became Enumclaw High’s principal, a position he maintained for 14 years before moving to the district office to oversee curriculum and assessment.

“Coaching,” he said, “became strictly a family affair,” leading, for example, daughter Jillian’s summer league fastpitch teams.

“I still consider myself an athlete and coach,” Parker said. “It’s a point of interest and lifestyle. The values we learn on playing field are used every day in our professional and personal lives.”

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