Tyree Parker is a familiar face in the world of youth athletics in the city.
So when the head coach position opened for the Western New York Maritime and Health Sciences combined football team, it made perfect sense for the program to stay in house and tap him for the job.
Parker takes the reins from Charlie Comerford, who remains with the program as an assistant but needed to step down from the top job in order to devote more time to his side business. Comerford also is the athletic director at Maritime.
Parker, who guided Health Sciences boys basketball team to back-to-back state Class B semifinals in 2017 and 2018, served as the Maritime/HS’s assistant head coach last year.
“A lot of the kids who came to Health Sciences and Maritime came because of their relationship with Ty so it was a natural fit,” said Robert Baxter, principal and athletic director at Health Sciences. “Some of the parents were shooting for him to be the face. Ty is a familiar face and it just made sense for everybody.
“Charlie told him he thought he was the person he thought could do it the best.”
Maritime/HS is in its second season, coming off a 2-6 inaugural campaign playing against some of the tougher Class A teams in Section VI. Enrollment numbers have reclassified the Falcons as a Class B school this season.
Parker is thrilled he gets to continue what Comerford started with the program, a team that returns several players from last season – including Division I prospect and sophomore Addison Copeland.
“I’m just happy for the opportunity,” Parker said. “(Charlie) is still part of the family. … His knowledge, wisdom and tutelage are needed (here) and the kids love Charlie. He just can’t commit himself like he did last year.”
Parker has previously served as an assistant at Riverside and Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
Parker played football scholastically at Burgard and collegiately at Alfred State, Charleston Southern University and Buffalo State.
Parker runs his own youth football program called God’s Children Cowboys and is director of the Corey Graham Elite AAU basketball program.