STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
BURNET — Some familiar faces will grace the sidelines of Burnet High School as coaches next school year. One is simply switching from one locker room to the other, while two others are returning home.
Burnet Consolidated Independent School District board of trustees approved the hires of Rick Gates as the Lady Dawgs athletic coordinator and head basketball coach, Lacy Hill Parker as a Lady Dawgs assistant coach, and Eddy Parker as the new offensive line coach for the Bulldogs football team.
The board met in a special meeting May 1. Burnet High School athletics director Kurt Jones asked the board to approve the hires.
Last season, Gates served as head coach Roy Kiser’s top assistant coach for the boys basketball team and as the girls head golf coach.
Parker was an offensive lineman for the football teams that played for Class 3A state championships in 2002 and 2003. He accepted a scholarship to play for Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech University, where he spent the next four years.
His wife, Lacy, played basketball for Bill Boyd in the mid-2000s.
Gates, who’ll take over after the departure of David Schubert — the new Avinger boys athletics coordinator and head coach — is the coach and personality the girls department needs right now, Jones said.
“There’s no better interview than to get to test-drive somebody for a year and watch him work,” he said. “We were thoroughly impressed with coach Gates.”
Gates arrived from Katy Mayde Creek near Houston, where he was an assistant coach. Gates’ knowledge of the sport, his ability to coach, and work with young people are some of the qualities needed as a coordinator, Jones said, which made him the ideal choice.
“He gave us a comprehensive plan for the entire girls program,” Jones said.
Jones also wanted coaches who would stay to provide stability to the program. He noted Gates’ wife, Betty Jo, is the new principal at R.J. Richey Elementary School.
The Parkers will arrive from Big Spring once the school year ends. Eddy Parker, who was an all-state offensive lineman for Burnet, was a key component in the Bulldogs’ state title runs. He will replace Justin Reeves, who returned to Lampasas. Lacy Parker served as the girls head basketball and head track coach.
“There’s a certain amount of pride getting to coach in your hometown,” Jones said.
Eddy Parker knows what it takes to build a championship-level offensive line and what colleges look for in linemen, so Jones is happy his players will see and hear for themselves the stories about what it takes to get there from Parker.
“In the offensive line world, those guys almost have their own fraternity,” Jones said. “They speak their own language. He’s an excellent offensive line coach, excellent at establishing relationships with young men and helping them develop. I’m excited about ‘Big Eddy.’”
While Jones didn’t get to spend as much time around Lacy Parker when she played, he does remember seeing a very competitive and talented athlete who competed in track and field and softball.
“She’s a first-class human being as well,” Jones said. “She’ll take a lot of pride in coming back. She’ll be a great role model.”