Legendary Parker coaches receive awards

Longtime Parker coaches Jill Christensen and Roger Knecht were honored last weekend in Watertown for their year’s of service to the Parker volleyball programs. photo/Shane Merrill

Shane Merrill | Writer

Former longtime Parker volleyball coaches Jill Christensen and Roger Knecht received awards during the final night of the state ‘A’ volleyball tournament. 

Christensen was honored with the Distinguished Service Award, after coaching for 36 years and compiling 837 wins. She retired after the 2018 state tournament and serving seven years as an officer on the South Dakota Volleyball Coaches Association.

Knecht, who had been involved in the Parker program for 25 years, was honored as the 2020 South Dakota Friend of Volleyball award. Knecht started his passion as a volunteer line judge, but moved up to coaching the junior high for 17 years and made the jump to varsity assistant coach in 2016, compiling a 436-66 lifetime coaching record in 20 seasons. “I was just a piece of the puzzle,” said Knecht after receiving the award. 

Making the award even more special was the fact the Pheasants had qualified for the state tournament this season. The nine seniors were the last group the duo were able to coach before retirement. Both former coaches received their award before the third place match, with the Parker team on the floor with them.

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