Parkers Elected to TSSAA Hall of Fame

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Long time wrestling supporters and administrators Mike and Karen Parker have been elected to the TSSAA Hall of Fame.

The Parkers and 11 other individuals comprise the TSSAA Hall of Fame class of 2013 and will be inducted at the annual luncheon Sat. April 20 at 11 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.

Tickets: Hall of Fame tickets go on sale Mar. 4 and are $25. A ticket order form can be found at

The Parkers have worked together at TSSAA state wrestling tournaments for nearly 20 years.

Mike was a wrestling official for 19 years before becoming the assigning officer for the Chattanooga association and he continues in that capacity today.

The Parkers began working with the traditional and dual state tournaments in 1997, while Karen has been managing the D-II brackets since 2001.

Mike wrestled on the 1967 East Ridge state championship team and coached the Pioneers to a state crown in 1975. He is also a member of the Tenn. chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.


TSSAA Hall of Fame - Class of 2013

Dorris Armstrong—Officiated basketball for 37 years, and he is currently in his 46th

year as a baseball umpire. In basketball, he worked post-season tournaments for over

30 years and officiated in two state basketball tournaments. In baseball he has worked

two TSSAA state tournaments, and has served as an assigning officer for over 30 years

in the Middle Tennessee area. He taught and coached football for 40 years until his

retirement in 2004. In addition to his officiating duties, he continues to assist the football

 team at Maplewood High School in Nashville.

Wes Elrod—Long-time football coach in the Middle Tennessee area who taught and

 coached in six different schools in the Metro-Nashville school system, including

 Donelson, North, Maplewood, and McGavock high schools. He compiled an overall

 record of 173-81-2. After retiring he went on to help coach at Stratford, Wilson Central,

 Hunters Lane, and served for 4 years as the offensive line coach at Cumberland

 University in Lebanon.

 Sammy Fisher—Coached for over 30 years in West Tennessee. He coached football,

 boys and girls basketball, and baseball. In his 33 years as a basketball coach he had a

 66% winning percentage, and his teams competed in six TSSAA state tournaments. He

 was a head baseball coach for 30 years, and was a football coach his first two years of

 teaching. He had stints at Decaturville, Riverside, Lexington, and Scotts Hill high


 Johnny Gimes—Currently in his 44th year in education, serving the majority of his

tenure in Marion County. He was a long-time coach of five different sports and played

football for fellow TSSAA Hall of Famer, Bill Baxter. He served as principal and

assistant principal at Marion County High School for many years and is now the county’s

Curriculum Director

Jack Harlow—Teacher and girls basketball coach for nearly 40 years. He began at a

junior high school in Franklin County for two years before coaching at the high school

level. He took three different Class AAA girls’ basketball teams to the TSSAA State

Tournament including Franklin County, Columbia Central, and Bradley Central. His

teams made a total of five state tournament appearances. He also coached at

Shelbyville High School before retiring in 2006. He is currently serving as a volunteer

girls’ basketball assistant coach at Franklin County High School.

Sherry Hooks—Volleyball coach for twenty-one years at Sullivan South High School.

Compiled over 900 career victories, and made 18 TSSAA State Tournament

appearances. Her teams were TSSAA State Champions in 1984, 1995, and 1996, and

were State Runners-Up in 1985 and 1998. She was very instrumental in the move of

girls’ volleyball from club status to a sanctioned TSSAA sport, and helped create the first

Tennessee East/West All-Star game in 1988.

Larry Hutchinson—TSSAA football and basketball official. He officiated football for 30

years and worked numerous play-off games and three TSSAA State Championships. In

his 24 years as a basketball official he worked four TSSAA State Tournaments. He has

served as President for both the Region I Basketball and Football Officials Associations

and has over 20 years of college officiating experience.

Fred Kessler—Involved in education for over 30 years at Bolivar Central High School.

He began as a teacher and coach before moving into an administrative role as Athletic

Director, Assistant Principal, and then Principal. He was also a long-time basketball

official and supervisor of officials. He served on the TSSAA Board of Control for

17 years, and was the Board Vice-President for ten of those years. His father,

 Fred Kessler, Sr., was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame as an official in 2001.

 David Russell—Long-time girls’ basketball coach at Bradford and Gibson County high

schools. He had a brief stint at Medina, before coaching at Bradford for 21 years and

Gibson County for eleven. He took his girls’ basketball teams to the state tournament a

combined 17 times, and captured six state championships. He compiled over 950

victories in his 35-year career. In 2011 he became the assistant women’s basketball

coach at UT-Martin, a position he still holds today.

Dan Schlafer—Has spent nearly 40 years in education as a teacher, coach, and

administrator. He has worked in the Monroe and Cumberland County school systems,

as well as a couple of schools in the Knoxville area. He has been extremely involved

 with the Tennessee School Boards Association, and has received numerous accolades

from TSSAA for his service to high school athletics.

Susan Williamson—TSSAA soccer official who worked over 700 matches beginning in

 1986 (when the sport became sanctioned) until she came off the field in 2001. She

worked over 50 post-season assignments in both boys and girls soccer during her

career. She was the first female to work a TSSAA Girls and Boys State Soccer

Championship and was the first female selected to referee the Boys State Soccer

Championship final match. She began serving as an Assigning Officer for the TN Valley

Soccer Referees Association in 1986, and continues in that capacity today.


contact B.B. Branton at









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