Jeff Parker joined the Tennessee State University Football staff in spring of 2010 as the pass game coordinator, quarterback coach. He was named assistant head coach at the start of the 2012 season and offensive coordinator in 2015.
In 2016, Parker’s offense made significant leaps as they became the top scoring unit in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Tigers jumped from sixth in 2015 to the top spot a year later. Parker’s group also improved in Total Offense (seventh to second), Rushing (eighth to fourth), Passing (fourth to second) and Passing Efficiency (fourth to first) in just a year’s time.
The offense generated five OVC All-Conference selections, which included lineman Jessamen Dunker and Kevin Kenton, wide receivers Patrick Smith and Steven Newbold, along with receiver and return specialist Chris Rowland. Dunker was named to several First Team All-American teams, including Associated Press, while Newbold and Rowland were named HERO Sports FCS Freshman All-Americans.
The offense averaged 32.3 points and 415.1 yards per game despite losing starting quarterback O’Shay Ackerman-Carter early in the third game of the season. Ronald Butler started the final eight game of the season and was responsible for 28 touchdowns leading all OVC signal callers. Butler finished 137-of-234 for 2,014 yards, averaging 251.8 yards per game which would be 21st in FCS and 2nd in the OVC. Butler led the OVC and was 14th in the FCS in Passing Efficiency (147.8), was ranked nationally in passing touchdowns (26th, 21), yards per completion (9th, 14.41), yards per pass attempt (13th, 8.33), total offense (44th, 237.1), 17th in points responsible for (170) and points responsible for per game (15.5). Butler finished second in conference games rushing as he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and was the top rushing QB in Conference Games.
Under Parker's guidance, redshirt freshman quarterback Michael German had just seven starts in 2011, but earned the Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year honors and was picked as the Newcomer of the Week four times. German was also a finalist for the Sports Network's Jerry Rice Award which honors the freshman of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Parker spent the previous five seasons serving as wide receivers, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Norfolk State. Under Parker's guidance, two Spartan quarterbacks threw for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
Two of his All-MEAC players, quarterback Casey Hansen (Philadelphia Eagles) and wide receiver Chris Bell (New Orleans Saints) went on to sign free agent contracts in the NFL.
Parker has extensive experience coaching on the offensive side of the ball. He served as an assistant and offensive coordinator alongside current TSU head coach Rod Reed at Seabreeze (Fla.) HS from 1993-2001. His offense went on to set Florida high school's all-time record for passing yards completions and touchdowns.
Parker then followed with a short stint as head coach at Spruce Creek (Fla.) HS in the spring and summer of 2002 before joining the staff at Bethune-Cookman College.
As a player, Parker played two seasons at TSU before finishing his eligibility at Bethune-Cookman College, now University. In just two seasons with the Wildcats, Parker caught 125 passes for 1,765 yards, and earned a share of the Wildcats' all-time reception record (125). Parker led the conference in receptions in 1990 with 58 and broke the Wildcats' single season record with 67 catches in 1991. He received first-team All-MEAC honors in each of those seasons. He capped his career by receiving first-team All-America honors in 1991.
For his efforts, he was inducted into the Bethune-Cookman Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
After college, Parker played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL (1992), the Charlotte Rage (1994), Orlando Predators (1995-98) of the Arena Football League, and the Rhine Fire of the World Football League (1995).
In 2008, he was selected to participate in the NCAA's Coaches Academy, which is designed to identify and nurture minority coaches, in 2008.
Parker, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla. earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and recreation from Bethune-Cookman in 1994. He and his wife, Onya, are the parents of two children daughters, Jai and son Jayce (JD).