Parks named new football coach at Danville

Published 6:52 pm Friday, December 9, 2022


Contributing writer

Frank Parks Jr. has been named the new football coach at Danville.

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Parks has spent the past two seasons as head coach at Berea and previously was the head coach at Bryan Station.

He was introduced to Danville players Friday afternoon during an announcement at the school’s Gravely Hall Performing Arts Center.

“This is one of the premier programs in the state of Kentucky (with) 11 state titles and all the history and tradition, and you have a great community who is really involved and really love their football program. These opportunities don’t come up too often,” Parks said.

Parks has 22 years of coaching experience and has a 43-69 record in 10 seasons as a head coach.

He was 8-14 in two seasons at Berea, which has had only one winning season since 2010, and 35-55 in eight seasons at Bryan Station from 2012-19.

He has also been an assistant coach at East Jessamine, Madison Central and Bryan Station.

The first African American head coach in the program’s history, Parks replaces Mark Peach, who resigned last month after going 13-11 in two seasons.

Danville principal Chad Luhman assembled a committee made up of people from both inside and outside the school system to find a replacement. He said a pool of 15 to 20 applicants was whittled to six finalists who were interviewed.

“Coach Parks just jumped off the page at us immediately,” Luhman said. “He had a lot of experiences, that would translate well to our program

“He just kept impressing us with his interviews and the experiences he had and the things that he had developed. His entry plan and the weightlifting (plan) was very exciting. (He impressed us) not only as a head football coach, but getting kids into college (and being) successful with student-athletes taking the next step.”

Danville has not advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since its most recent state championship season in 2017, and Parks said his priority is to change that.

With the Admirals’ 11 championship trophies arrayed on the stage behind him, Parks told the players that his goal is for the Admirals to be playing in the later rounds of the playoffs on a regular basis once again,

“It’s a very tangible goal to be playing for state championships. You can see it with those trophies there on the stage,” he said after speaking to the players. “We’ve got to get some consistency as far as our workouts go, getting back to being committed, and some accountability and just believing and really putting in the work.”

He said it won’t take long to get the program back to that point if the players are willing to work for it.

“We’ve got to outwork everybody,” Parks told the players, specifically mentioning crosstown rival Boyle County — though not by name — and district rival Lexington Christian. “We’re going to get this thing turned around sooner rather than later, but we need everyone in this room to be a part of it.”

Parks said players should be ready to get to work in the weight room when the spring semester begins in January, and he’ll be there with them. He will fill a teaching position at Danville in the spring semester, Luhman said.

Luhman was the athletic director at Bryan Station when Parks was hired there in 2012. He said he was transparent about their working relationship from the beginning of the hiring process at Danville, and he said members of the hiring committee did their own fact-finding when it came to checking references and gathering information on Parks and the other finalists.

“I really did a lot of listening to the committee,” Luhman said.