SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel University Department of Kinesiology named 2006 graduate Jason Parr the department’s Distinguished Alumnus at a ceremony on Oct. 1, during EU’s Homecoming activities.
After graduating from Evangel with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation, Parr spent eight years teaching elementary and high school physical education and health.
He also served as the head coach for track and cross-country at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo.
Parr is currently teaching physical education at The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek School in Lexington, Ky.
Dr. Keith Hardy, chairman of Evangel’s Kinesiology Department, 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 our local Boys & Girls Club was amazing,” said Hardy. “He is devoted to mentoring teens, especially those with the greatest needs. Jason is a positive person and his energy is contagious.”
For Parr, it all began in high school when a coach, who had invested time in his life, asked him to run with the cross-country team.
Parr remembers living in a home where he was always searching for someone to pay attention to him. “I saw this as an open door to belonging to a team and having a coach who truly cared about me,” he said.
Parr also credits the education he received at Evangel and the investment made in him by professors and coaches as they equipped him with the tools to impact lives.
“The personal relationship with Evangel coaches, teachers and peers were top notch. Not once did I feel as though I was just a number,” Parr said. “Evangel provides such an amazing opportunity to explore many different careers as well as be involved in ministry opportunities.”
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
In addition to coaching and teaching in Kansas City, Parr became an advisor to the Park Hill High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. Under his leadership, FCA grew from ten students to several hundred.
In April of 2011, Park Hill’s FCA hosted their fourth annual rally. A team of Evangel students traveled to Kansas City to assist Parr, and the citywide event brought together about 700 students.
Parr is also competitive in Ironman events.
During his time with FCA, he helped launch Fellowship of Christian Athletes Endurance. The purpose of the organization is to unite those who are competing athletically and equip them for ministry within the endurance community.
“This unique opportunity gives me a chance not only to compete, but to share the gospel with fellow triathletes and runners,” said Parr. Team Endurance lead the opening prayer at the Ironman event in Oklahoma for thousands of participants.
Parr holds a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Northwest Missouri State University.
He is married to Evangel University alumna Rebecca (Webster ’07). They have two daughters, Adelynn (7) and Amelia (3).