Former Athletic Director Dr. Micah Parker Returns to California Baptist University as Vice President for Athletics
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (May 17, 2023) – California Baptist University (CBU) will have a familiar face at its athletic events this fall as the institution welcomes back Dr. Micah Parker in the position of vice president for athletics. He previously served as CBU’s athletic director from 2009 to 2020. Since he left, CBU has successfully completed the four-year transition to NCAA Division I, with the board officially granting active status to the institution in August 2022.
“It feels like a homecoming,” said Parker. “CBU is a special place and I am excited to return and lead the Lancer athletic mission of honoring Christ through excellence in athletics. The program continues to push the boundaries of collegiate sport and I look forward to advancing Lancer Nation into an era of Division I post-transition success.”
Parker says he is thankful to CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis and Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Kent Dacus for the opportunity to rejoin the Lancers. CBU leadership share Parker’s enthusiasm for his return, pointing to his more than 30 years of faithful athletic leadership and management experience as reasons to select him for the role.
“Our athletic teams compete at the highest levels of play and Dr. Parker has a proven track record that nets results,” said Ellis. “His knowledge of the campus, experience with Division I athletic play, vision to advance the program, and strong Christ-centered leadership style make him a great fit to take Lancer athletics into the future.”
Dacus, who oversees athletics at the university, looks forward to what Parker can achieve with the recent and upcoming campus improvements.
“The opening last season of our new soccer stadium, which broke CBU and WAC championship game attendance records, and the baseball and softball clubhouse that recently broke ground, are exciting investments in the athletic programs at CBU,” said Dacus. “Our student athletes are competing at a very high level and Dr. Parker has my complete confidence as community support grows for Lancer Nation.”
Eighteen of the Lancers’ 20 intercollegiate sports – nine men and 11 women – compete in the NCAA. Parker will oversee the program that now has 415 student athletes. CBU ranked fifth in the State of California for NCAA Division I basketball attendance, averaging nearly 3,400 attendees a game. During the 2022-23 season, CBU set a program record for the number of basketball season tickets sold. The Lancers will start the fall season with a new equipment and apparel partnership with Nike and BSN Sports.
Parker, who has been a part of 57 conference titles and numerous national championships
as a coach and director of athletics, rejoins the CBU Lancers after having spent three
years as the vice president for athletics at Northwestern College in Orange City,
Iowa. During his tenure, the football team won the 2022 NAIA National Championship,
the men’s basketball team won the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) tournament,
the men’s soccer and softball teams won a regular season GPAC title. The Red Raider
athletic program saw record growth in its fundraising during Parker’s leadership,
doubling the overall number of donors and tripling corporate sponsorship revenue.
CBU saw many advancements in Lancer athletics during his initial 11-year term as athletic director. Parker oversaw the institution's transitions from the NAIA to NCAA Division II as well as the initial years to NCAA Division I and the invitation to the Western Athletic Conference. He created a corporate sponsorship program and athletic development board, and increased annual revenue of donations, ticket and corporate sales above the $1.5 million mark. Under his leadership, CBU opened the 5,050-seat Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center in 2017, won the NCAA Division II Learfield Cup in 2018 and won the PacWest Commissioner's Cup five years in a row. The Riverside Press-Enterprise named him the Most Influential Sports Figure in the Inland Empire in 2015.
Prior to taking the athletic director role in 2009, Parker was headmaster at Lutheran South Academy in Houston, Texas, in 2008–09. He served as the top assistant women's basketball coach at Drake University from 2003–07, director of operations for women's basketball at the University of Nebraska in 2002–03, head women's basketball coach at Concordia University from 1998–2002 and assistant men's basketball coach at Concordia for eight years before that position.
Parker earned a Doctorate of Philosophy with an emphasis in educational leadership and a master's degree in education from the University of Nebraska. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Concordia in 1991. He is married to his wife Amy, and they have three children – Emma, Jonah, and Gracie Joy.
Parker will begin his new role at CBU May 22, 2023.