Jason Parr (’06): Kansas City cross-country coach and FCA club adviser
June 2, 2011
As a child, Jason Parr remembers living in a home where he was constantly searching for someone to pay attention to him. In high school a coach who had invested time in Parr asked him to run with the cross-country team. “I looked at this as an open door of belonging to a team and having a coach who truly cared about me,” Parr says.
“He always showed such genuine concern for every kid. At this point I knew there was nothing else I would rather do than invest into the lives of young people.”
Parr has done just that.
He graduated from Evangel University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and now works as a track and cross-country coach for Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to coaching he is an adviser to the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club. “I have always felt that God has called me into the ministry of teaching and coaching,” he says. “I believe that God calls people to do His work no matter where they are.”
Under his leadership, FCA has grown from 10 students to several hundred students. “FCA means so much to me because I get to see young people’s hearts change for the Kingdom each week in a public high school. Nothing means more to me than praying with my athletes each and every day.”
In April of 2011 Park Hill’s FCA hosted their fourth annual rally, a citywide event that brought about 700 students. The theme was “Follow Me!” based on Matthew 16:24. A team of students from Evangel University traveled to Kansas City to assist Parr with the event. Evangel students worked the concession stand, 3-on-3 basketball, four-square and dodge ball. The group also led students in a time of worship and connection.
Keith Hardy, chairman of the Kinesiology Department at Evangel, says the leadership qualities that have helped Parr succeed in his coaching career were evident during his time as a student at Evangel. “His work with the local Boys & Girls Club was amazing,” Hardy says. “He is devoted to mentoring teens, especially those with the greatest needs. Jason is a positive person and his energy is contagious.”
Parr credits the education he received at Evangel and the investment made in him by professors and coaches with giving him the tools to impact teenagers’ lives today. “I could not put a price tag on the experiences I had at Evangel,” says Parr. “The personal relationship with coaches, teachers and peers were top notch. Not once did I feel like I was just a number. The teachers and coaches actually care about you. Evangel provides such an amazing opportunity to explore many different careers as well as ministry opportunities to do God’s work.
Parr is married to fellow Evangel alum Rebecca (Webster ‘07) Parr, who is currently in dental school. They have a 3-year-old daughter named Adelynn.