BOONE, N.C. – Zach Parker will be back in a familiar place when Appalachian State Football returns to the field this August for its first official practice, the sidelines of Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The 2012 graduate of Appalachian State University’s athletic training program returns to the High Country as the football team’s head athletic trainer. As an undergraduate at App State, Parker worked with the football program, along with men’s soccer, wrestling and track & field.
“I am excited to be back in the High Country and am honored to be joining the Appalachian State football and sports medicine family,” Parker said. “I am grateful to Jon Mitchell, Doug Gillin and coach Drinkwitz for the opportunity to be a part of this proud tradition. Appalachian State has always been a special place for me and my family. I look forward to working with the players and staff and becoming an active part of the Boone community.”
Not only will Parker return to his alma mater, he will work alongside a familiar face in first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. Parker served as an assistant football athletic trainer at top-25 NC State for the past four seasons. Drinkwitz was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wolfpack for the past three seasons and is thrilled to be reunited with Parker.
“Zach is a great addition to our program,” Drinkwitz said. “He is an App man who loves this university and will provide great support to our student-athlete well-being.”
Parker’s experience spans beyond collegiate athletics and into the National Football League. During the 2014 season, he served as a seasonal assistant athletic trainer during the Detroit Lions’ playoff season. He also was a training camp intern for the Washington Redskins from July 2012 through September 2012.
“We are excited to welcome Zach back home,” said Mitchell, who serves as Associate A.D. for Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being. “He is passionate and student-athlete centered and will bring a great work ethic to the football program and sports medicine department at Appalachian State.”
In between his positions in the NFL, Parker served as a graduate assistant football athletic trainer at The Citadel. While with the Bulldogs, he oversaw a group of athletic training interns and students and provided medical coverage for overnight camps for football, baseball and basketball. He earned his Master of Science in health, exercise and sport science in May 2014 from The Citadel.
Parker holds numerous certifications/licenses and is a member of the National Athletic Training Association and North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association.