STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Texas high school basketball coaches consider Burnet High School’s Lacy Parker among the Lone Star State’s best.
The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches named her Assistant Coach of the Year. Parker was presented the award May 18 in San Antonio.
“I was completely surprised and shocked,” she said. “All of the awards are one hundred percent attributed to our kids and our great season.”
The Lady Dawgs made it to the Class 4A state semifinals this year, losing 49-44 to Hardin-Jefferson High School in Sour Lake. Burnet advanced to the state tournament for the first time in the program’s history by beating longtime rival Liberty Hill 52-36 in the Class 4A Region IV tournament.
When she received the award, Parker didn’t know who had nominated her.
It turns out it her boss, Lady Dawgs head basketball coach Rick Gates, along with the rest of the team staff, sent in her name.
“What I appreciate is how (Parker) builds relationships with our athletes,” Gates said. “She has great basketball knowledge. It’s good to be recognized for your hard work. She’s so good at relating to players because she played at a high level in college. She relates well to them. I felt she was deserving.”
Parker, who spent her freshman and sophomore years at Burnet High School, was even more surprised about the recognition considering she took maternity leave in early October and didn’t return to the team until late December. She’s a seven-year coaching veteran, the last two years spent at Burnet. Parker coaches the freshman squad and splits the responsibilities of breaking down film and writing scouting reports with the other basketball coaches.
“My big behind-the-scenes role is being an encourager to the kids,” Parker said. “As an assistant coach, it’s easier to do that. As the head coach, you have to be the bad guy. (As assistants), you need to be the encouragers and try to be positive. It’s been a nice job to be the good guy.”
Parker is also the distance coach on the track team.
“It’s awesome for people to recognize that and see the hard work you’re doing,” she said about the award. “I’m grateful to be back in Burnet and be around Lady Dawg athletics. I want to stay here for a long time.”