The Notre Dame Fighting Irish officially announced the hiring of Gerad Parker as the new offensive coordinator under Marcus Freeman.
Notre Dame’s press release:
SOUTH BEND, IN – Gerad Parker, a 12-year Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaching veteran, has been named the John and Bobbie Arlotta Family Offensive Coordinator and tight ends coach at the University of Notre Dame. Parker most recently served as the Fighting Irish tight ends coach for the 2022 season.
“I am excited to announce Gerad as our new offensive coordinator,” said Notre Dame’s Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Marcus Freeman. “I know firsthand the person, teacher, recruiter and innovative football mind he is. I look forward to watching our offense flourish under Gerad’s leadership and direction.”
Parker has been an offensive coordinator in the Big 12 and a passing game coordinator and interim head coach in the Big Ten while coaching wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. Parker has also served in a leadership role as a recruiting coordinator during his career.
Freeman and Parker were on the staff together at Purdue in 2016 and Parker assumed the role of interim head coach for the final six games of the season after the Boilermakers head coach was dismissed. The duo also crossed paths in the spring of 2017 at Cincinnati before reuniting in 2022 at Notre Dame.
Parker arrived at Notre Dame after serving as the offensive coordinator at West Virginia in 2020 and 2021. Challenged to install a new offense during the COVID-19 pandemic-affected season, Parker’s Mountaineer offense improved across the board from its previous iteration in 2019.
Most dramatically, West Virginia improved from 118th in the country in total first downs to 41st, also increasing its third-down-conversion percentage from .346 (118th) to .416 (56th). The team’s pass efficiency jumped from 90th (127.5) to 65th (132.9), time of possession improved from 101st (28:21) to 24th (32:00) and the team’s total offense increased from 119th (321.9) to 50th (412.6).
Those numbers continued to increase in 2021 as the Mountaineers improved to 27th in the country in completion percentage (.640) and 18th in red zone offense (.900).
During his time in charge of the Mountaineer offense (2020-21), West Virginia’s ranked among the top 30 in FBS for time of possession (seventh, 31:37), third down conversions (11th, 141), completion percentage (18th, 64.0) and scrimmage yards (30th, 8,929). WVU appeared in the Liberty Bowl (2020) and Guaranteed Rate Bowl (2021) during Parker’s two seasons in Morgantown.
In his year as the Notre Dame tight ends coach in 2022, Parker helped develop consensus All-American and Mackey Award finalist Michael Mayer through a remarkable senior campaign. Despite his status at the top of opponent scouting reports, Mayer led the Irish with 67 receptions for 809 yards and a Notre Dame single-season tight-end record nine touchdowns.
Sophomore Mitchell Evans also played a key role in Notre Dame’s offensive attack during the ‘22 campaign. Evans saw time under center as a short-yardage quarterback and in his seven rushing opportunities earned five first downs and a rushing touchdown against UNLV. He capped the season by nabbing the game-winning touchdown against South Carolina in the Gator Bowl.
Notable student-athletes developed by Parker throughout his career include -
- Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame - Consensus All-American, Mackey Award Finalist, Team Most Valuable Player who holds all tight end receiving records at Notre Dame.
- Leddie Brown, RB, West Virginia - 1,010 rushing yards in 2020 (the first 1,000-yard rusher at West Virginia since 2017) followed by another 1,000 yards in 2021.
- Winston Wright Jr., WR, West Virginia - All-Big 12 Second Team with 47 catches for 553 yards in 2020, followed up in ‘21 with 62 catches for 688 yards and five touchdowns.
- Jarret Doege, QB, West Virginia - 5,635 yards, 33 touchdowns and a 64.6 completion percentage in 2020 and 2021.
- Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State - The future first-round NFL selection (16th overall) had his first breakout season under Parker in 2019, catching 27 passes for 488 years (18.1 yards per catch) and five touchdowns.
- KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State - 56 catches for 904 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019, earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors by Sports Illustrated and second-team honors from several additional outlets. Hamler was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.
- T.J. Rahming, WR, Duke - 75 catches for 811 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. The ‘18 Duke wide receivers caught 278 passes for 3,199 yards in ‘18 from future first-round draft pick quarterback Daniel Jones.
- DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue - finished his career seventh at Purdue in receiving years (2,344) and touchdowns (20) and 16th in receptions (141). Yancey was a fifth-round NFL Draft selection in 2017.
- Tommy Shuler, WR, Marshall - school-record 110 receptions for 1,138 yards and six touchdowns in 2012.
- Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall - In 2011 and 2012 Dobson piled up 106 catches for 1,347 yards and 15 touchdowns. A second-team All-Conference USA selection, Dobson was eventually selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Before his time at West Virginia, Parker spent the 2019 season as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Penn State. The Nittany Lions offense averaged 35.8 points per game, ranking 15th nationally, was 21st in red zone offense (.904) and averaged 13.3 yards per completion, ranking 33rd nationally.
Prior to Penn State, Parker spent two years on the football staff at Duke as wide receivers coach (2018) and a football operations assistant working with the offense in 2017.
The Blue Devils offense had three All-ACC selections and for the first time in program history had three players with 500 or more rushing yards, while also having a quarterback throw for more than 2,500 yards.
Parker spent the spring of 2017 as the running backs coach at Cincinnati before joining the Duke football staff.
Before his stint with the Blue Devils, Parker spent four seasons at Purdue, where he coached the tight ends (2013-14) and wide receivers (2015-16). He was the recruiting coordinator and also spent the final six weeks of the 2016 season as the Boilermakers interim head coach.
Prior to his time at Purdue, Parker spent two years as the wide receivers coach at Marshall (2011-12). The Thundering Herd led the nation in passing offense, averaging 365.1 yards per game.
Parker spent three seasons at UT-Martin as the running backs coach (2008), wide receivers coach (2009-10) and was the passing game coordinator and recruiting coordinator (2010). He started his coaching career at Raceland High School in Raceland, Kentucky, and spent the 2007 season as a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky.
Parker earned two degrees from Kentucky, his bachelor’s degree in business management in 2003 and his master’s in education in 2005. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats where he was a Southeastern Conference Scholar Athlete Honor Roll selection (2002-03) and CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Second Team honoree (2004).
A native of Louisa, Kentucky, Parker played at Lawrence County High School and set state receiving records with 238 catches, 4,814 yards and 52 touchdowns.
He, and his wife, Kandi, have three daughters: Kolbi, Gwyneth and Rosalyn and a son, Oliver.
THE PARKER FILE
Name: Gerad Parker (first name pronounced Jer-ed)
Hometown: Louisa, KY
High School: Lawrence County High School
College: Kentucky (2003, B.S.; 2005, M.S.)
Children: Daughters – Kolbi, Gwyneth and Rosalyn; Son – Oliver
2000-04 University of Kentucky Wide Receiver
2005 Raceland HS Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs
2006 Raceland HS Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs
2007 Kentucky Graduate Assistant
2008 UT Martin Running Backs
2009 UT Martin Wide Receivers
2010 UT Martin Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
2011 Marshall Wide Receivers
2012 Marshall Wide Receivers
2013 Purdue Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator
2014 Purdue Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator
2015 Purdue Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
2016 Purdue Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
2016 Purdue Interim Head Coach
2017 Cincinnati Running Backs
2017 Duke Offense Operations Assistant
2018 Duke Wide Receivers
2019 Penn State Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator
2020 West Virginia Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
2021 West Virginia Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
2022 Notre Dame Tight Ends
2007 Kentucky (Music City Bowl)
2011 Marshall (Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl)
2017 Duke (Quick Lane Bowl)
2018 Duke (Independence Bowl)
2019 Penn State (Cotton Bowl)
2020 West Virginia (Liberty Bowl)
2021 West Virginia (Guaranteed Rate Bowl)
2022 Notre Dame (Gator Bowl)