Bruce Parker, who helped Carroll College become one of the most successful NAIA athletic programs in the nation, is returning home to Billings to become the new athletic director at Rocky Mountain College.
Parker, who grew up in Billings and has spent the past 11 years as the athletic director at Carroll, will be introduced by Rocky on Tuesday morning during a news conference in the Fortin Center’s Hall of Fame Room.
Rocky president Bob Wilmouth confirmed the hiring of Parker on Monday evening.
“Bruce is on his way (to Billings) now, and tomorrow we’re going to announce him,” he said.
The school’s press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
Wilmouth said Parker “knows what a valuable asset Rocky Mountain College is to Billings and the region. He wanted to be a part of it. He wanted to be a part of Rocky Mountain College.”
Both Rocky and Carroll are members of the NAIA Frontier Conference.
“I think it’s great,” Wilmouth said of landing Parker, who has been at the Helena school since July 2003. “I’m extremely excited. He’s got some tough shoes to follow in Bobby Beers (who resigned in late March).
“It’s another win for the college, just like our other recent hires.”
Wilmouth praised Parker for his expertise when it comes to college athletics and his passion as an athletic director.
During Parker’s watch at Carroll, the Saints claimed five of their six national championships in football.
Wilmouth said Parker interviewed late last week. He accepted the job over the weekend.
“We had an unbelievable amount of interest,” Wilmouth said of vacancy at Rocky. “We had some top-notch candidates. It was a difficult choice, but Bruce fits exactly where we want to go with the college.”
Parker has been recognized in the past as the NAIA national athletic director of the year. He was twice the NAIA Region I athletic director of the year and six times selected as the Frontier’s top AD.
He graduated from Billings Senior in 1975 and Eastern Montana College (now MSUB) in 1979. He also served as the associate athletic director at Montana State University before going to Carroll.
Parker will replace Beers, who resigned in late March after spending a little more than five years on the job.
During the 2013-14 school year, Rocky won the Bandy Memorial All-Sports Award, which is given to the Frontier’s most successful athletic program.
Carroll won the award the previous four years.
Wilmouth said he didn’t know when Parker would begin work at Rocky.
“I think he’ll want to start tomorrow, to be honest with you,” Wilmouth said. “As soon as possible, I’m sure.”