Turnover quick for new coach

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The transition from Moffat County baseball coach to boys basketball coach was a fast one for Scott Parker.

Two days after the Bulldog baseball team lost in the district tournament, Parker was in the gym.

"It's been hectic because I didn't do anything basketball related during baseball," he said. "Right away, I had to work on the summer schedule and get a look at the guys in the gym."

Only when Mike LeWarne resigned did Parker consider coaching his alma mater in basketball.

"I thought about it, and then I talked to my wife about it," he said. "It was a new opportunity and a new challenge."

Moffat County Athletic Dir--ector Jim Loughran named Parker as the new head coach last week.

Parker left a program with a similar situation to the one he is joining.

Both teams were young this year.

The baseball team graduates three seniors and will have eight starters returning. The basketball team graduates two seniors and returns all five starters.

"I feel like I left the baseball program in good shape," he said. "The thing I like about the basketball team is that they have varsity experience, and you can't coach that."

The basketball team finished 9-13 last season with five junior starters.

The baseball team finished 13-7 and missed advancing to the Elite Eight by one run.

One reason that Loughran said he picked Parker from the pool of seven candidates was because of how the coach developed the baseball program.

Parker's goals of development include as many open-gym hours as possible and keeping involved in the AAU program that develops younger players.

"We'll have open gym at nights this summer," he said. "I'm also hoping to get some of the alumni in here for some scrimmages. That worked well for the baseball program."

He still is trying to fill the freshman and JV coaching positions.

This will be Parker's second stint as head coach of a boys basketball team. He coached at Fort Morgan for five years before coming back home. He coached one year as the head football coach in Hayden and three years as a baseball coach.

In Fort Morgan, Parker had two winning seasons, a mark that doesn't sound too impressive, but the Mustangs don't have a tradition of winning in basketball.

"Those two winning seasons were the first since 1961," he said.

A winning tradition is something that Parker thinks the Bulldogs have.

"Two things I have here that I didn't there is tradition and community support," he said.

Parker didn't have any specifics about what his players could expect other than a fast-paced attack.

"We'll move the ball up and down the floor," he said.

As for leaving a thriving baseball program: "If we go 0-19, maybe I'll have second thoughts ... I spent a lot of time with those kids (baseball players) and parents. It was the best group of parents I've dealt with, and the kids have good things ahead."

He hopes it will be the same for the boys on the hardwood.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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