SMSU TENNIS: Jon Parker hired as new head women’s tennis coach at SMSU
MARSHALL — Southwest Minnesota State University Director of Athletics Chris Hmielewski announced on Friday that Jon Parker has been hired as the new head women’s tennis coach at SMSU.
Parker has been a successful head coach at both the collegiate and high school levels for more than 20 years, which includes winning six high school state championships. At the collegiate level, he served a very-successful stint as the head women’s tennis coach at NCAA Division II Northeastern State University (Okla.) from 2016-18 and is currently head girls’ tennis coach at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, Calif.
Parker, who becomes the 10th head coach in program history, replaces Andrew Cobb, who resigned in April of 2019.
“Jon will bring a high level of experience, tennis knowledge and a proven record of developing successful tennis programs,” Hmielewski said. “It was evident in the interview process his priorities for the women’s tennis program were in alignment with the SMSU Department of Athletics and NCAA Division II. Jon values student-athlete academic success, providing civic engagement opportunities and creating a team culture that focuses on building community and character through the student-athlete experience. We are excited to welcome Coach Parker to the Mustang family.”
Parker was named head coach at Northeastern State in October of 2016 and during his two seasons helped lead the RiverHawks to a 39-11 overall record, including 18-0 in conference play and a pair of NCAA Tournaments. He coached seven all-conference players, one conference Player of the Year during his tenure.
“I am very excited to get started and I am thankful to Chris and the hiring committee for giving me this opportunity,” Parker said. “I am truly blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by talented and dedicated faculty and staff at SMSU.”
In his first season in 2017, NSU won the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) regular season and tournament championships, along with the NCAA Central Region title. The team advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and finished with a 19-6 record.
In 2018, NSU finished 20-5 overall, won the MIAA regular season and tournament championships, the NCAA Central Region title and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. NSU finished the season ranked No. 7 in the final ITA Top 25 poll. For his efforts, Parker was named the 2018 MIAA and ITA Central Region Coach of the Year.
“I hope to create a group of hard working student-athletes who will care for others more and make necessary sacrifices for the team,” Parker said. “It starts with building character that’s above reproach and a culture of commitment and community. I want the student-athletes experience at SMSU to be most positive and life-changing.”
Prior to taking over at NSU, Parker was the head boys’ and girls’ tennis coach at Bixby High School in Bixby, Okla., from 2009-16, which included a region boys’ championship in Class 6A during the 2016 season.
Prior to Bixby, Parker was the head boys’ tennis coach and softball coach at Cascia Hall Prep in Tulsa, Okla., from 2005-09. The Commandos dominated Class 4A tennis winning four-straight state titles from 2006-09.
Parker also served as head boys’ and girls’ tennis coach at both Okmulgee High School (1997-2000, 2002-04) in Oklahoma and Wichita Falls High School (2002-04) in Texas. He led the Okmulgee boys’ to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1999 and 2000.
During his high school career, Parker coached 26 state champions in single and doubles, 19 state runners-up and had 19 student-athletes named all-state.
Parker is a 1994 graduate of Northeastern State University with a degree in science education. He earned his master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from Emporia State University in 2016.
Parker is also certified as a USPTA Professional and has extensive experience as an academy coach and teaching professional.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic