A Better Region 8: The impact of Coach Parker's legacy lives on

A Better Region 8: The impact of Coach Parker's legacy lives on

I always tell my team "You are Region 8." Your work speaks volumes. It not only represents you but your community.

This week, Region 8 lost a valuable and loved member of the community. Coach Phil Parker was Region 8.

His body of work speaks volumes: 14 state championships, 7 in volleyball another 7 in golf. He did it at both Jonesboro and Valley View High Schools. He was a proud alum of JHS.

This summer, he was inducted into the  Arkansas Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

But as good of a coach as he was, he was an even better person.

So many people have posted kind words about Coach Parker on our Facebook page.

He made an impression on our Sports Director Jason Hurst. Coach Parker was battling cancer, was in excruciating pain, but still made time to do an interview.

Jason told me he tried to hurry with the interview because he could tell Coach was in pain. Jason finished the interview and packed up his things, but Coach wanted to talk. For three hours, they chatted about sports and life. Jason said, right then, he saw a man who cared about others.

He also told Jason in a powerful interview: "I'm the luckiest guy that ever lived, my life's been a charm. When I went to MD Anderson, and in the same room as kids that had the same thing, I can't ask why. I can't ask why. I know I'm lucky. I had a life they didn't."

A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, October 28, 2017, at Emerson Memorial Chapel

He set the example by impacting so many lives, even as he fought for his own. Thank you, Coach Phil Parker, you truly made this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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