Mesa High hired a football coach Tuesday night with the district governing board’s approval, officially making Dennis Parker the Jackrabbits’ 13th head coach.
Dennis Parker, 53, is the brother of Gilbert High and former Mountain View coach Jesse Parker. Dennis Parker has 27 years of coaching experience at the high school and college level in Texas and Missouri. He coached on staffs of two teams that won state titles in Texas — Converse Judson as its offensive coordinator in 1983 and San Antonio Marshall as head coach (1990).
‘‘He just adds to a list of very good coaches we have in our district,’’ Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen said. ‘‘We’re excited to have him come here.’’
Hogen said Dennis Parker is expected to arrive in Mesa on Thursday and will meet with school officials and players some time during the day.
Parker has been out of coaching since the conclusion of the 1998 season. In the interim he has spent time as an athletic director in Texas and the last couple of years has worked out of Minnesota as a seminar speaker and clinician for Coaching Changes Lives, a publishing company he co-founded that stresses youth character building.
His last coaching job was at Cleburne (Texas) High (1995-98) where he also was the school’s athletic director. While at Cleburne, he became the first high school athletic director to implement mandatory drug testing of all athletes. He coached at Marshall High in the late 1980s through 1990 and then moved on to coach North Texas University for three seasons (1991-93) before heading to Cleburne.
Mesa High has one of the longest and proudest football traditions in the state. The Jackrabbits are just three wins shy of winning 600 games (an all-time mark of 597-264-37). Parker succeeds Bill McKane, whose coaching contract was not renewed at the end of last season. Mesa was 3-7 in 2003.