The Fleming Island Golden Eagles announced on December 22 that former Bartram Trail associate head coach Chad Parker will be the new head coach of the football team.
Fleming Island was searching for a new coach for roughly two weeks because Damenyum Springs stepped down after six years as head coach of the program. Parker was with the storied Bartram Trail football program for nine years and won a State Championship in 2017. Parker also learned from legendary northeast Florida high school football coach Darrell Sutherland, who stepped down after the 2022 season. Parker looks to bring Sutherland’s teachings to the program with a mix of his own style.
“I’m going to bring a lot of similarities we did over at Bartram Trail but with a little bit of my own flair from coach Sutherland. Put that winning culture of being better husbands, fathers, community leaders and just building better men. You do that kind of stuff and the winning takes care of itself,” said Parker.
Parker found the Fleming Island job intriguing because of Fleming Island's talented roster. Parker is known for getting players to the next level. One of his most recent players who received national attention is defensive back Sharif Denson, a Florida Gators signee that will early-enroll later this week.
“It works out in my favor because I’ve been a recruiting coordinator at Bartram Trail and I’ve put 180 kids into school in the last eight years,” said Parker. “I’m excited to get here and work with some of these guys. I’ve been watching Hudl highlights and there is no shortage of talent here. That was a big draw to the job.”
Despite the talented roster, Fleming Island’s team went 0-4 in one of the toughest districts in high school football in Florida last season, with one of those district losses to Bartram Trail, 17-0. Parker will bring in numerous coaches from Bartram Trail to develop the Fleming Island players and install a winning culture with the program.
“I’m used to the district. I’ve been in there for a while. I’m bringing eight Bartram coaches with me that have the ability to help guys reach their potential and teach them how to win is going to be in my advantage,” said Parker.