Southern University at New Orleans Names Olen Parker Its First Head Baseball Coach

Southern University at New Orleans, commonly referred to as “SUNO”, announced this past April that it was adding baseball to its athletics program for the 2023-2024 school year. Then, on July 1st, named Olen Parker as its head coach.

The Knights of SUNO, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, will compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) along with fellow baseball playing schools Dillard University, Rust College, Philander Smith University, Oakwood University, Tougaloo College, Talladega College and Wiley College.  Southern University at New Orleans, a member of the Southern University System (which is made up of five schools including Southern University and A&M College at Baton Rouge and Southern University at Shreveport) was established in 1956, with doors opening to freshmen in 1959.  SUNO previously competed in the GCAC beginning in the 1986-1987 school year though 2019-2020, when the school suspended its athletics program for budgetary reasons. It then re-instated athletics and was invited back to the conference beginning in July 2022.

An NCAA Division III track and field powerhouse back in the 1970s, Southern University at New Orleans hopes to establish a similar reputation in baseball with the hiring of its first ever varsity baseball coach, Olen Parker. SUNO, while fielding a “club” level baseball team for one season in 1978 never has officially sponsored baseball until now.

Olen Parker returns to his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana bringing a vast resume of baseball experience.

As an undergraduate student at Grambling State University, Parker was a 23rd round Major League Baseball draft selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986. Following his minor league carrier as a middle infielder, Olen Parker returned to Grambling, graduating in 1992. In addition to his years as a youth baseball coach, instructor and administrator, Parker was also an assistant coach at Grambling while earning a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and also had coaching stops at NCAA Division I Louisiana Tech, Dallas College-Mountain View and most recently at Baton Rouge Community College. Additionally, he was previously an associate scout with the Atlanta Braves.

Olen Parker is excited to return to his hometown of New Orleans, where he attended Saint Augustine High School and is equally excited to compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Coach Parker will bring to SUNO three coaches from the successful Saint Augustine baseball program with him – Alvin Robinson, Errol Manuel and Eric Fluery.

Fall baseball at Southern University at New Orleans begins September 11th and Coach Parker will be bringing in about 45 candidates to vie for the honor of being a part of the SUNO Knights first varsity baseball team.  Among the group will be approximately 15 transfers, while the rest are newcomers recruited from events such as Coach Parker’s tryout camp held in Dallas this July and through Minority Baseball Prospects leagues and showcases.

Coach Olen Parker is setting his goals for 2023-2024 both modestly and realistically. “We want to be competitive and we want to win as many games as we can.”

With Coach Parker’s track record, we feel that those goals are certainly in reach!

2 comments for “Southern University at New Orleans Names Olen Parker Its First Head Baseball Coach

  1. Congratulations wishing you lots of success and continue winning ways. Looking to forward to seeing you and your staff.

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