SCU Mourns Loss of Long-Time Track and Field Coach


BETHANY, Okla. — Southwestern Christian University mourns the loss of long-time track and field coach Paul Parent who passed away Wednesday in Oklahoma City. 

Parent was 73 years old. He and his wife, Pat, had three children.

SCU elevated Parent, a veteran coach of 50 years, to director of track and field in 2016. He had been the head coach at SCU since 2004.

Parent began his coaching career in 1966 in Broken Arrow, Okla., before going on to coach at several Oklahoma high schools including Heritage Hall, Perry, Putnam City West and Verdigris.

In 1979, Parent was named head cross country and track coach at Central Oklahoma where he remained until 2001.

Parent began building the SCU cross country/track and field program in 2004. In the spring of 2007, the SCU women finished ninth at the NCCAA National Track & Field Championships. That same year, he also produced the first individual national champion in SCU history.

Parent led the men's cross country squad to the NAIA Championships in Vancouver, Wash., in the fall of 2011. He also guided the Eagles to a seventh-place finish in the NCCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships that year.

In 2016, Parent led three athletes, Andrew DeWitt, Dakota Kappelle and Colton Owens to the NCCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Rome, Ga.

Parent, of Grants, N.M., was a track athlete at Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Okla., where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees.