STILLWATER — “I think he’ll do a fine job,” Fields said in June. “He’s been a great assistant for many years and I think he’ll fit right in.”
Perhaps the biggest advantage to having Parker take over is the fact that not much will change under the new regime. Parker already knows the team’s strengths and it’s weaknesses and has a plan in mind on how to use them to Stillwater’s advantage.
Also making the transition easier? Just the fact that Parker already has a rapport with so many members of the team.
“It’s going to be really good,” Barnard said. “There were a lot of girls in the program that really were hoping that he would be the one to get this position. Maybe they were even borderline on whether or not they would even continue playing with somebody else as the coach just because of the way they feel about him. We were really excited to get him to accept the position.
“It was a great burden lifted, for sure. We spent a lot of time on that. We’ve known about this opening for quite some time and we’ve spent a lot of time waiting and making sure that we had all the right pieces in place and it turned out great for everybody.”
Even with the spring season still six months away, Parker isn’t going to rest any time soon. He knows coming in that expectations are high — especially after the Lady Pioneers just missed out on the playoffs the last two seasons.
“It was really important in my mind to give them a chance to work with him during the preseason period and to have their players ready to go,” Barnard said. “We know that Joey will do that for certain.”