Ferris State brought back one of its own as FSU head coach Tony Annese announced the appointment of former offensive tackle Sam Parker as an assistant coach prior to the 2016 campaign. He'll start his fourth season as a staff member in 2019 and serves as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach.
The Bulldogs reached great heights in 2016 as Ferris State advanced to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals for only the second time in school history. During the memorable postseason run, FSU captured the Super Region Four Championship by beating archrival Grand Valley State on the road in the regional final. The Bulldogs also broke the school record for most consecutive regular-season victories by stretching the mark to 28 in a row early in the year. Ferris State followed up the memorable campaign by reaching the D2 Playoffs for the fourth year in a row in 2017, finishing with an 11-2 record while making its second-straight national quarterfinal showing.
Last season, in 2018, the Bulldogs notched the most historic season in school history, reaching the NCAA Division II National Championship game for the first time in school history. FSU matched the all-time NCAA wins record, posting a 15-1 overall mark and also claimed both the GLIAC and Super Region Three Championships during the memorable campaign.
Parker, who was a four-year letterwinner at FSU from 2010-13, spent the previous year as an offensive assistant coach on the staff at Davenport University, which played its inaugural campaign in 2016.
Parker graduated from Ferris State in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Television & Digital Media Production.
As a senior in 2013, Parker started all 11 games at offensive tackle, helping the Bulldogs post an 8-3 overall record along with a second-place 8-2 finish in the GLIAC North Division standings during Annese's second year at the FSU helm. The Bulldogs closed the year riding a four-game winning streak, which extended to a school-record 28-straight regular season contests. For his efforts, Parker earned All-GLIAC recognition.
In his final season, Parker also played a key role as the Bulldogs topped archrival Grand Valley State for the second consecutive year to retain possession of the Anchor-Bone Trophy. Overall, he started at three different positions on the FSU offensive line while allowing only a single sack with no penalties during his collegiate career. Additionally, he claimed the squad’s Mr. Bulldog Award for his outstanding heart and dedication in 2013.
Parker was a three-year starter at Ferris State and claimed GLIAC All-Academic Team accolades multiple times during his collegiate career. The Muskegon Mona Shores High School product initially redshirted in 2009 before playing a key role for four-straight seasons, which included FSU's first two campaigns under Annese's direction.
In his final two seasons, Parker helped the Bulldogs rank among the nation's top 10 leaders in rushing and total offense while setting several school offensive records. He started nine games at guard in both 2011 and 2012 before shifting to tackle as a senior.
As a prepster, Parker was an all-conference standout at Mona Shores and also competed in both track and field along with powerlifting.
Parker comes from a football family as his father, Tim Parker, was an assistant coach at Muskegon High School for several years under Annese before moving to Mona Shores during his son's senior campaign. His brother, McClain, also played under Annese at Muskegon High School during his prep career.