Bruce Parker continues to direct Carroll’s athletic fortunes as the department’s Director of Athletics. In his 11th year at the helm of Saints’ Athletics, Parker is constantly at the forefront of NAIA athletics. He recently was selected to serve on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Executive Committee and is a member of the NAIA’s National Administrative Council. A past President of the NAIA National Athletic Directors Association (ADA), Parker has been honored as the NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year, twice as the NAIA Region I Athletic Director of the Year, and six times as the Frontier AD of the Year. He was also honored as one of the 2009 and 2011 NACDA/Under Armour “Athletic Directors of the Year,” and has been appointed, by NAIA CEO and President Jim Carr, to the NAIA National Strategic Planning Council and the NAIA National Marketing Committee.
The athletic and academic successes have been plentiful at Carroll under Parker. The Fighting Saints captured the Frontier Conference George Bandy Memorial All-Sports Trophy for the fourth consecutive year (2012-13) and fifth in the last six years. The Saints have also finished second three times in Parker’s tenure. For the past five seasons, all 10 of the Saints’ athletic teams have earned NAIA “Scholar Team” designation and last year, the combined GPA for Carroll student-athletes was an impressive 3.2. On the field and court last season, Frontier Conference titles were awarded to men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer (fifth straight) and women’s volleyball, which also made an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.
“Bruce is well-respected throughout the NAIA and among athletic directors across the country for his strong advocacy for quality student athletic programs that lead in both academics and athletic performance,” stated Carroll College President Dr. Tom Evans.
“Bruce is a passionate advocate for the positive aspects of collegiate sports.” said Dr. Jim Hardwick, Carroll Vice President of Student Life. “I know Bruce would be quick to credit his success to the team effort of the high caliber of coaches, staff and student-athletes who represent Carroll College.”
Parker has spearheaded efforts to add six sports to Carroll’s athletic program over the past six years. The additions include women’s and men’s cross country and track and field, who both competed in the NAIA National Championships last year. Other accomplishments include record attendance at home athletic events, hosting numerous NAIA National Football playoff games, record-setting years with corporate fund raising, and funds generated by the Saints’ Athletic Association. Parker has exceeded the college’s expectations for fundraising by the athletic department and has taken strides towards initiating enhancements to athletic facilities on Carroll’s campus. Fighting Saints’ fans have enjoyed the new seating in the Carroll College PE Center gymnasium along with numerous other upgrades in the historic building, bringing it up to par with the championship caliber teams that play in it. Parker has also been involved in the community with numerous fund raising activities tied with Saints’ Athletics. Plans are underway for an artificial playing surface in Nelson Stadium as well as additional visitor seating and lights.
Parker, a 1979 graduate of Eastern Montana College (now MSU-Billings) with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and marketing, formerly served as Associate Athletic Director at Montana State University in Bozeman during his 22-year tenure at the NCAA Institution. Parker and his wife Lisa, a teacher at Helena High, have two sons: Ryan of Seattle, and Brett, the men’s head soccer coach at Fort Hays State University, along with his wife Larissa, of Hays, Kans.