Since joining the program in the fall of 2003, Jesse Parker has helped build the foundation of a program that has taken the Bearkat Track & Field program to uncharted levels of success. He has played a major role in guiding the program to 21 Conference Team Championships and since 2015 the Bearkat Track & Field program has produced 103 NCAA Preliminary Round Qualifying Performances, which ranks #2 in the State of Texas amongst all mid-major programs and 6th out of 23 division 1 programs in the state. In his tenure at SHSU, Parker has taken the endurance program to new levels of success. His athletes have set every school record in the endurance events and have produced a conference champion in 17 of the 20 endurance events.
Under Parker’s tutelage, Jeffrey Moore earned the first All-American honors by any SHSU endurance runner with a 10th place finish, and school record mark of 1:47.40 for 800m, at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon in 2017. Moore’s mark ranks #2 All-Time in Southland History for the Men’s Outdoor 800m Run and he is only the 6th Southland Conference male endurance athlete to earn All-American honors at the Division 1 level.
On the women’s side, Parker coached Camry Grigsby who ranks #2 All-Time in Southland History in the Women’s Indoor 800m Run with a mark of 2:06.22 that she set in 2018. This marked ranked her #31 in the country in 2018. Grigsby went on to break her own conference championship record in the Women’s 800m Run, running 2:09.30 at the Southland Conference Championships in 2018.
Parker’s success is not limited to just the 800m. He has had athletes qualify for the NCAA post-season a combined 14 different times in the 800m, 3000m Steeplechase and 5000m. His middle distance runners have also contributed performances on both the indoor and outdoor women’s school record 4x400m relays and have helped the 4x400m relay qualify for the NCAA Preliminary rounds in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
With a primary emphasis on performances at conference championships, Parker’s athletes have consistently produced event group point totals amongst the top endurance programs in the Southland Conference. Between the Spring of 2016 and the Spring of 2018, the Bearkat Track & Field program won an unprecedented 10 conference team championships. During this 3 year stretch, the SHSU endurance athletes contributed 396 (22.7%) of the program’s total points. At the 2017 Outdoor Championships, Parker’s men and women combined to score 119 points across the 10 endurance races, ranking 1st amongst all Southland endurance programs.
Additionally, the 2016-2017 competition year saw 2 of the 3 Southland Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year honors go to his athletes. Ana Moreno won the 2016 Women’s Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Year Award following her runner-up finish at the conference cross country championships and Nicole Aponte won 2017 Women’s Outdoor Student-Athlete of the Year Award following her championship in the 1500m and runner-up finish in the 800m Run.
Parker’s athletes have earned the Southland Conference High Point Scorer award on three different occasions. The first time came at the 2005 Outdoor Championships when Raul Villarreal scored 30 points by winning the 10,000m, the 3k Steeplechase as well as the 5000m. In 2006 Brandon Moseley won the award, scoring 24 points between the same three events. In 2016, Jeffrey Moore scored 21 points, winning the 1500m and 800m while also running a leg on the 4x400m relay. Moore’s performance that year earned him the Outstanding Running Events Performer an Athlete of the Year honors from the Southland Conference.
Parker’s influence on NCAA Track & Field extends beyond Sam Houston State University. In 2016-2017, Parker worked alongside Dan Waters, Brett Halter, Ricard Santos, Jeff Bovee and Amy Horst as part of USTFCCCA’s Recruiting Calendar Working Group that put the guidelines and calendar together for the current NCAA Division 1 Recruiting Calendar for Track & Field/Cross Country.
In addition to athlete’s success at the collegiate level, Parker’s athletes have gone on to have post-collegiate success as well. Most notable has been Danish athlete Morten Munkholm. Following a successful career at SHSU, Munkholm went on to win 7 Danish Championship and post personal bests of 3:39.73 for 1500m, 7:57.63 for 3000m, 13:41.81 for 5000m and 1:05:45 for a half-marathon between 2008-2013.
In his time at SHSU, Parker has served in various roles; but most prominently as the recruiting coordinator, home cross country meet director and team travel coordinator.
Parker graduated from Sam Houston State with a degree in kinesiology in 2005 and he earned a master's degree in kinesiology in 2007.
• USATF Level 2 Jumps, 2009
• USATF Level 2 Endurance, 2008
• USATF Level 1, 2003
• 21 Southland Conference Team Championships
• 105 All-Conference Performances
• 31 Southland Conference Event Champions
• 14 NCAA Post-season Qualifiers
Best Marks by Collegiate Athletes:
• 400m Dash: 47.59 – Alex Gilreath, 2015
• 800m Run: 1:47.40 – Jeffrey Moore, 2017
• 1500m Run: 3:46.47 – Jeffrey Moore, 2017
• Mile Run: 4:08.20# – Jeffrey Moore, 2017
• 3000m Run: 8:18.63# – Morten Munkholm, 2007
• 3k Steeplechase: 8:57.06 – Chris Speaks, 2017
• 5000m Run: 14:26.24 – Chris Speaks, 2017
• 10,000m Run: 29:58.62 – Raul Villarreal, 2005
• Distance Medley Relay: 9:55.64 – Arambula, Pouncy, Monticone, Moore, 2016
• 400m Dash: 55.76 – Kodii Church, 2015
• 400m Hurdles: 1:00.05 – Megan Smith, 2018
• 800m Run: 2:06.22@ - Camry Grigsby, 2018
• 1500m Run: 4:26.06 – Alyssa Dooley, 2014
• Mile Run: 4:55.44 – Alyssa Dooley, 2013
• 3000m Run: 10:00.60# – Solenn Riou, 2012
• 3k Steeplechase: 10:33.01 – Ana Moreno, 2017
• 5000m Run: 17:11.23 – Ana Moreno, 2016
• 10,000m Run: 36:07.81 – Olivia Olguin, 2017
• Distance Medley Relay: 11:48.59 – Grigsby, Lewis, McCall, Aponte, 2016
- mark converted from 200m flat track
@ - mark converted from altitude