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Gerad Parker Expected to Become Next Head Coach at Troy. What's Next?

Written by Connor D'Aquila⏐Writer⏐Twitter/X: @ConnorDaquilaIT


Photo by The Irish Tribune


In a surprising turn of events, Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator Gerad Parker is expected to become the head coach at Troy University. Just three weeks ago, Coach Freeman said in a press conference that he hoped the entire coaching staff would return for the 2024 season, but it appears the turnover will be more than initially anticipated. ND fans have been understandably critical of Parker’s performance as OC, and many were disappointed to hear that Freeman would have him back next season, but it ended up being out of his hands. Parker has been climbing the ranks in CFB for some time now, and this is a logical next step.



In his time at Notre Dame, Coach Parker had mixed results. He was loved as the tight ends coach, and he was instrumental in continuing the development of Michael Mayer. We also saw solid development from Mitchell Evans and Eli Raridon this year. As coordinator, however, there were far more struggles. He was thrust into the role after Notre Dame refused to pay the buyout for Utah OC Andy Ludwig, and some were immediately concerned. Parker held the same position at West Virginia before coming to South Bend and was demoted after poor performance. The beginning of this season had some wondering if Coach Parker could be the real deal, as we saw big-time offensive numbers. Once the tough opponents started rolling in, though, we saw a major change. The pass game, in general, could not get rolling, and they seemed to crumble in some of the biggest situations. Many started calling for his job, and there were reports of internal changes being made, but ultimately, Freeman wanted to give him one more year to figure it out. 


The move to Troy is an interesting one. Obviously a weaker program and name than the many Power 5 jobs he has held so far, but it is an opportunity for a stepping stone to something bigger. The opening is there because previous head coach Jon Sumrall made the jump to Tulane after only two seasons with the team. He leaves Parker with a strong program after leading them to two straight Sun Belt Championships and bowl game appearances with only four losses across the two seasons. They will surely lose some players to the transfer portal, but this is a great opportunity to continue the established success. Players always seemed to like Parker, and he is known to have a great personality, so hopefully, we will see the team rally around him at Troy. 



As for how this will affect Notre Dame, the fallout is unclear at this point. We have not seen any indications that it will have a major impact on recruits or transfers, but that could always change. It does provide Freeman the opportunity to make a big-time hire at the position, and we could leave the situation feeling it was a net positive. We have no insight at this time on who the major candidates are, but we would assume it will be a mix of internal and external options. Ultimately, we wish Coach Parker the best of luck moving forward.


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