Coaches Corner with BJ Parish

12/15/2021 / Posted by Staff

Give us a background of how you got into coaching XC and/or Track & Field. I knew I wanted to coach from the time I was 6 years old. However in high school I wanted to go play either basketball or football in college. Had opportunities in both but had a huge pull to track and field. Coach Don Pierce contacted Arkansas State for me and about doing the decathlon my senior year of high school. I had no idea what the decathlon was until he(Pierce) reminded me of Dan and Dave, the 92 Olympic trials commercials and battle!!! Once I got to Arkansas State and started training it was over, I knew I would be a track coach!!! What inspires you to continue coaching the sport? I truly want to give back to athletes just like myself who have potential but need to do everything right in order to be successful. I am a lifelong learner, I try and pass that along to kids, I want to give every bit of my knowledge to athletes to help them succeed. My inspiration then is when an athlete has a lightbulb moment and figures something out they’ve been struggling with. Really any success future, past or present athletes have is what inspires me the most. 3. Give us a memory that has stuck with you through the years. I have so many but I have to go with the most recent, our throwers this year were unbelievable. The boys throws crew scored 52 points at the state track meet to help the team finish runner up. It was remarkable to watch them go after it for each other and their teammates. Another big one is qualifying for the NCAA championships in 2008 in the decathlon and proposing to my wife after the 1500!!! What differences have you seen in the program since you've been HC? Well I have just been named head coach This past month so not a whole lot of changes. I want to say Brad LaBass and Todd Boddie are amazing!!! Those two head coaches let me do anything I wanted as an assistant. They never questioned any practice schedules, technical sessions and trying kids in different events. They let me order any equipment I wanted or needed. You don’t have passionate leaders like those guys in track everywhere and I thank them for all opportunities they have given me. What's your take on the direction of High School XC and/or Track & Field in Arkansas? Looking at depth of elite performances, I truly believe we are trending in the correct direction. I would like to see a few things changed. Like where the state meet is hosted. Maybe even a regional type system. I would like for us to go to the metric system. I would also like for coaches education to be better within the state. I would also like to add the javelin and or hammer. Championships 8 horizon league championships indoor and outdoor at Wisconsin- Milwaukee 8 conference championships at high school level 1 state championship team 3 state runner ups teams Athlete Accomplishments 14 individual Horizon League champions and Coached 6 school record holders at Wisconsin Milwaukee Coached many state champions in various events across the board. Many athletes have went on to compete and have success at the collegiate level. Coaching Accomplishments I’ve been blessed to coach at some amazing schools, work with amazing athletes as well as coaches. Years Coaching 10 years high school 3 years college

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