Published Thursday, January 24, 2013
From Staff Reports
(The following is the first of three stories profiling this year’s Coweta Sports Hall of Fame inductees)
William H. “Billy” Parker, a three-sport star athlete at Newnan High from 1958-61, will be inducted into the Coweta Sports Hall of Fame as one of its three newest members during the organization’s annual banquet on Feb. 9.
Parker starred at Newnan in basketball, track and football before going on to Oglethorpe University where he lettered for four years and led the school’s basketball program to a berth in the NCAA Division II Final Four in 1963.
He will join Bob Tillman, a four-sport athlete at Newnan in the 1970s, and Ron Beaucham, a football standout and eventual head coach, among this year’s inductees.
Parker lettered four years in varsity track at Newnan High while setting the school record in the high jump as a freshman while also a part of a record-setting mile relay as a senior.
He also played two years of varsity football and was a four-year starter on the Tiger basketball team. In addition to sports, Parker was Newnan High’s first student body president in 1960 while also a member of the Beta Club. He also served as treasurer of the Key Club.
On the basketball court, he was an All-State standout, eventually leading Newnan High to a subregion championship as a senior. He led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding during his final season while eventually playing for the North squad in the annual GHSAA North/South All-Star Game.
Parker chose to accept a full athletic grant-in-aid at Oglethorpe after also being recruited by Georgia, Troy State, Young Harris and Furman. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds during his college career while shooting 75 percent from the free-throw line and 45 percent from the field.
During his college career, Parker set a single-game rebound record against Rollins College in 1963, the same year he led Oglethorpe to the Division II Final Four in Evansville. The team eventually won the third-place game against Southern Illinois 68-64 after losing to Wittenberg.
Parker was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and eventually graduated cum laude in 1965 before eventually earning his MBA from Florida Atlantic.
Following college, he played for the Fort Benning All-Star Team in the Third Army Championship at Fort Jackson, S.C. in 1967, while serving during the Vietnam War. He later turned down a contract offer to play for the Miami Floridians of the American Basketball Association to remain a teacher, earning Teacher of the Year honors in 1967.
Parker taught for 30 years at Key West High School where he served as assistant team leader, program manager and department chairman before retiring in 1996. He also was athletic business manager of the School from 1970-72.
He also served as an athletic director and head basketball and baseball coach at Mary Immaculate High in 1968-69.
Following his years at Key West High, Parker taught as an adjunct professor at Barry University and St. Leo University from 1997-99. He was also a full professor at Florida Keys Community College before retiring in 2002.
He currently lives in Melbourne, Fla., and has been married for 45 years to the former Jayne Archer of Key West. The couple has four children and 12 grandchildren.
2013 COWETA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
• What: Coweta Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
• Who: Three new members include Billy Parker, Bob Tillman and Ron Beaucham
• When: Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m., at Coweta Fairgrounds
• Tickets: $25. For information, contact Elizabeth Crain at 770-253-1235.