The hunt for a new Ada High School boys basketball coach is over.
Ada City Schools introduced Garland Parks Jr. as the new Cougar coach Tuesday moring at the Board of education office. Parks spent the last nine years coaching at Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City.
Parks told The Ada News it was an easy choice for him to fill the boys basketball job at Ada High that was left when veteran coach Ron Anderson stepped down last month.
“It was a no-brainer for me. It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be here. I’m excited,” he said.
What made Ada so attractive?
“The biggest thing was the commitment to the overall athletic program. Everyone I’ve talked to seems so supportive and focused on the overall athletic program having success,” he said.
Parks coached the boys basketball program at Northeast from 2011-2016. He led the Vikings to a state championship in 2012 and another state appearance in 2016. Parks finished with a 106-50 record as the boys coach.
He started at Northeast as the head girls basketball coach and guided the Lady Vikings to their first state tournament appearance in 22 years in 2011. He finished with a cumulative record of 56-21 with the Northeast girls.
Before joining Northeast, Parks had stints as an assistant coach at Midwest City High School (2005-2008) and Carl Albert High School (2004-2005).
Parks said he’s familiar with the recent history of Ada High boys basketball.
“I know last season they had a pretty good year and were close to making the state tournament,” he said. “I know they lost a really good player (Ben Pruitt) and a few other seniors. But I understand they have a young, good group coming up.”
Parks met with some of his future Ada players for the first time Tuesday afternoon. His message to them was simple.
“I’m grateful and happy to be a part of the team. My philosophy is simple, and it’s nothing they’ve never heard of — play hard, play smart, play together and we’re going to be successful. We’ll be one team and one family,” he said.
The Cougars’ first event with their new coach will be participating in the Carl Albert summer Tournament May 30-31 in Midwest City. Parks said he may take Ada to a ournament at OBU later in the summer.
“We’ll have open gym throughout June and then give them July off,” he explained. “Then we’ll get ready to get started when the new school year comes back around.”
Ada athletic director Bryan Harwell was impressed with Parks.
“We felt like he was the best coach that was available. I think he’s going to bring an attitude and coaching style that will benefit our kids,” Harwell said. “I’m excited for him to come into our system.”