Penn State hires former Duke assistant Gerad Parker as new receivers coach

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 21: A general view of the stadium prior to the game between the Michigan Wolverines and Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on November 21, 2015 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State’s football program announced Thursday that it has hired former Duke assistant coach Gerad Parker as its new wide receivers coach.

Parker takes over for David Corley, who was let go earlier this month, after the Nittany Lions’ 27-24 Citrus Bowl loss to Kentucky.

Parker spent two years at Duke, including one season as the receivers coach.

“We are excited to add Gerad to our staff,” said Penn State coach James Franklin in the hiring announcement. “He has a comprehensive background and knows the Big Ten. He is a terrific fit for our staff, university and community. He has a great opportunity to come in and make a significant impact both on and off the field with a very talented position group! Gerad played wide receiver in the SEC and has shown he is a great teacher of the position, as well. His wide receiver groups have been able to overachieve throughout his coaching career.”

“I am extremely humbled and honored to have the chance to join the Penn State football program,” Parker said in the hiring announcement. “I am so thankful to Coach James Franklin and the entire coaching staff. We as a family are certainly very excited to be a part of a place that has been built with such a passion for football and with such a storied history.

“Coach Franklin has done great things at Penn State and has high expectations of where this program can go. Personally, I feel I have been called on this Earth to coach wideouts and help grow men, what better place to do that than Penn State, a place that is high in talent and has a chance to compete for championships.”

Last season under Parker, Duke’s receivers accounted for 2,252 of the Blue Devils’ 3,199 yards through the air. Parker mentored T.J. Rahming to second-team All-ACC honors, while Johnathan Lloyd made the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

Prior to his time at Duke, Parker spent four seasons at Purdue University, where he was the tight ends (2013-14) and wide receivers (2015-16) coach, as well as recruiting coordinator. He also spent the final six weeks of the 2016 season as the Boilermakers interim head coach.

He also spent two seasons at wide receivers coach at Marshall University, three seasons at UT-Martin, and one season as a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky.

A native of Louisa, Kentucky, Parker set Kentucky High School receiving records with 238 catches, 4,814 yards and 52 touchdowns at Lawrence County High School. He then went on to be a four-year letterman at the University of Kentucky, where he was a two-time Southeastern Conference Scholar Athlete Honor Roll selection (2002-03) and second-team CoSIDA Academic All-District IV honoree in 2004.

Parker and his wife, Kandi, have three daughters, Kolbi, Gwyneth and Rosalyn, and one son, Oliver.