COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The torch in the football office at Tennessee Tech has been passed. That doesn't mean any changes in the coaching staff for the Golden Eagles, but behind-the-scenes, where Debbie Parker has taken over the position of executive aide for the football program.
Parker takes over for Peggie Parrott who has retired from her post after more than 25 rewarding years on the job. Parker made the move across campus to join the Golden Eagles after spending the past year as a secretary/receptionist in the College of Engineering.
"I am really excited about this position," Parker said. "It's unlike anything I've ever done before, but it's a dream job for me. I am a huge sports fan, and I especially love football."
Parker has been on-the-job for a couple of weeks, working alongside Parrott to learn the wide range of responsibilities she'll handle. In addition to working with the current coaching staff, Parker will be in contact with Golden Eagle players from the present and the past.
"It has been really great working with Peggie, and she's been simply awesome," Parker said. "I have large shoes to fill."
Among her duties, Parker is most looking forward to working with all of the players who come through the program, and developing friendships the way Parrot has done through the years. Many former players, upon returning to campus, admit that they first seek out Peggie Parrott.
"I'm most excited about seeing these young men grow and graduate, and if I'm allowed to be here long enough, to see their kids come here," Parker said.
A 2001 graduate of Tennessee Tech with a bachelor's degree in agriculture and environmental agriscience, Parker's career took a different turn when she signed on as a legal assistant at a law firm in Cookeville in 2002 After a year in that position, she worked for five years as an environmental health specialist for the Tennessee Dept. of Health. She returned to the legal profession in 2008 for another year at a Cookeville law office, then worked one year as an administrative assistant for the U.S. Census Bureau.
In her new role on Brown's staff, she will handle a wide variety of office responsibilities for the entire coaching staff including much of the paperwork involved in the recruiting process. She will also help to coordinate the annual Jim Ragland Golden Eagle Bass Classic, and the annual Golden Eagle Football Alumni Classic, an event to help build the Robert Hill Johnson Endowment for funding football scholarships.
Born in Battle Creek, Mich., Debbie's family moved to Monterey where she has lived since she was four years old. She and her husband, Michael Parker, have been married for 11 years. She has three children - daughter Emily (16), son Rylan (19), and one grown stepson, Anthony.
In her spare time, she also works with the young women at her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cookeville.