Utah State basketball promotes Jesse Parker to director of basketball operations
Jesse Parker has spent four years as one of the team managers for the Utah State men's basketball squad. His modesty about this role can be summed up by his Twitter handle: @USUwaterboy.
But Parker is also a deeply integrated member of the program, who has spent his four years with the team dedicating his time and effort to getting things done. He's become good friends with players, and roommates to some. He's literally helped save a life - that of Danny Berger - when someone needed to run for the AED.
After the position for director of basketball operations opened up, the Aggies had a guy in mind to promote: Parker.
He had applied last year when the position opened up, and had been helping out with many of the tasks the position requires. Before the chance came up to stay with the team, Parker had been applying for teaching positions, ready to move on from the team.
Now, he's glad he won't have to.
"It's exciting to be able to stick around Logan, now with a paying job," Parker said to The Salt Lake Tribune. "It's not a huge change for me, but now everything falls on me. It's pressure, but I work best under pressure."
Goodbye, waterboy duties. Utah State announced Parker's promotion on Wednesday morning. His role will expand to scheduling team meetings, meals, travel, coordinate practices and recruiting trips, managing equipment, communicating with support staff and leading student managers.
He'll also lead coach Stew Morrill's annual summer basketball camps.
"Jesse has prepared himself for this opportunity and I am extremely comfortable that he can handle the position. He is an Aggie in every sense, and we are delighted to have him expand his role within our program," Morrill said in the release.
Parker replaces Cody Fueger, who was officially announced as the director of basketball operations at BYU on Tuesday.
Parker is an Aggie alum, making it less likely that the Cougars are in his future. He's originally from Kamas, Utah, son of longtime South Summit prep coach Jerry Parker. Parker said his parents, who both are regular attendees at Aggies games, were thrilled to hear the good news.
"My dad, being a coach and all, he's been floored," Parker said. "He was disappointed when it didn't work out last year, but now that I've gotten a second chance, it's been very exciting. My mom is glad I have health insurance coverage and all that now."
Joining the coaching staff means some lifestyle changes for Parker, starting with moving out from his living arrangements with Aggie athletes to living on his own. He doesn't anticipate his close relationships with players to be a problem as he takes on his new role.
"It's been a topic of debate, but I think the guys understand how things are and understand what has to happen," Parker said. "As the age gap increases, that becomes less of an issue. I think the guys I'm close to, I'll be able to continue to keep good relationships with. But when it comes time to work, we'll work."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon
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