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Shane Parker is a Black Tiger and darn proud of it.
The newly-hired Cuyahoga Falls head football coach makes no bones about his love for his community.
"This is home. Being around the program as much as I have, I've wanted to be able to give back," Parker said. "These kids deserve to have the kind of experience I had when I was in high school. Back then, I was learning so much about life. I want to equip them with the tools to be successful, not just on the football field, but in life."
Parker will have the chance to lead his alma mater after the Cuyahoga Falls City Schools Board of Education approved his hiring at its May 17 meeting.
Parker is a social studies/criminal justice teacher at the high school. According to the district, Parker's annual teaching salary is $52,122. His supplemental contract will pay him $8,940 as head football coach.
The new coach made it clear, while he wants to help his players, he also wants to bring winning football back to Cuyahoga Falls.
"The school deserves it. The community deserves it. This town deserves it," Parker said. "Black and gold runs through my veins, so I think I'm the right guy to bring the program back to where it was. I've been there through the high times and the low times at Cuyahoga Falls."
Parker experienced the high times at Falls during his playing career, as he was a starting defensive tackle during Falls' lone playoff game in school history in 2001.
After graduating from Cuyahoga Falls in 2004, Parker became a Division III All-American offensive tackle at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn.
Parker graduated from from Westminster in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in history. He also graduated from Kent State University earlier this month with a master's degree in career tech education.
Parker's high school coaching career began at Crestwood High School in 2008, before he spent four years as an assistant at Falls under head coach Mike Miller. Parker then served as Woodridge's offensive coordinator during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, before returning to Falls and serving as defensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016.
"It's always been my goal to be the head coach of Cuyahoga Falls," Parker said. "The fact I've been a coordinator on both sides of the ball, I should be able to find nuances for our players to work with."
Defensively, Parker plans to keep Falls' 4-2-5 base scheme in place this fall. He said he's still working on Falls' offensive scheme, which will depend more on personnel.
Parker said his coaching staff will include four former Black Tigers, including 1999 Falls graduate Brad Ely as defensive coordinator. Doug Phillips will returns as Falls' offensive coordinator.
"With a combination of my staff and the schemes we're working on, we're always going to do our best to put our kids in position to be successful," Parker said. "We play a very competitive schedule. The [National Conference] of the Suburban League is one of the toughest in the state."
Parker knows, in terms of on-field success, Falls has nowhere to go but up. The Black Tigers are 1-19 over the last two seasons and have yet to win a game in the National Conference.
"We want to prove to everybody that Cuyahoga Falls is not the Cuyahoga Falls they're used to playing," Parker said. "Teams are going to know they just got done playing Falls on Saturday morning."
"It's going to take everybody to be on board," he added. "We want to get them excited about Cuyahoga Falls football again."
Parker will debut as head coach Aug. 25 when Falls travels to face Kent Roosevelt.