Gerad Parker has resigned his position as assistant football coach at Raceland to become a graduate assistant at the University of Kentucky.

Parker, a former receiver at UK and a record-setting All-Stater at Lawrence County, said he wants to pursue a career in college coaching.

“It’s been an interest in the past six months or so to get back into the college game,” Parker said. “The opportunity arose and I couldn’t pass it up.”

Parker, 26, said he has spoken with head coach Rich Brooks and offensive coordinator Joker Phillips and sees the position as a chance to learn more about coaching the college game.

He said his duties will include coaching receivers, working with scout teams and breaking down film on opponents.

Parker said his two seasons at Raceland helped prepare him for the UK job.

“I learned real quick that you have to know something 10 times better when you coach it than when you played it. That’s because you have to teach it,” said Parker, who coached receivers and defensive backs for the Rams. “I’ve had to study the game and learn the game — especially at my two positions — so I could teach it to the kids.”

Parker returns to a Kentucky program that appears to be shaking the effects of probation that were still being felt when Parker finished his career in 2004.

“When I was there, there were so many things going against us. Now there’s some stability and ever since coach Brooks got there I’ve believed in what he’s tried to do,” said Parker, who played for Brooks for two seasons. “They’re doing things the right way and they’re starting to reap the rewards.”

The Wildcats are coming off an 8-5 season and a 28-20 victory over Clemson in the Music City Bowl.

“It’s an opportunity to go back down to the alma mater and learn more. I’m totally approaching this as a learning experience,” Parker said. “(Quarterbacks coach) Randy Sanders and Joker Phillips are two big names in college football. And coming from the SEC, that will give me that much more on my resume. Hopefully, that will lead to an assistant coaching position in college.”

Parker, who said he is grateful to the Raceland community for its support, is married to the former Kandi Brown, an All-State basketball player and member of the 2000 West Carter state championship team.

Parker is Kentucky’s all-time high school leader in receiving yards (4,736) and is second all-time in career receptions (238) and touchdown receptions (52).

Parker begins his new duties later this month.

RICK GREENE can be reached at rgreene@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

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