Family, friends, Parkway High School alumni and government officials gathered at the school’s baseball field on Monday evening, Feb. 21, to witness history in the making, as the Parkway baseball field was named “Ronnie Coker Field.”
Prior to dedicating the field as “Ronnie Coker Field,” special guests gathered in the library for a special reception in honor of Coker.
Overwhelmed with emotion and pride, Coker said a few words during the reception.
“As of January 10th, I am cancer free. I can’t really say it without getting emotional but on November 10th, I was given less than two years to live. Two months later, I am in full remission. The thing about what the doctor said and the way he said it, he couldn’t explain it. He said that he couldn’t explain this medically. I said it is really simple to me, cancer don’t know about my God, but my God knows about cancer,” Coker said.
“This right here is absolutely one of the greatest schools in the history of our country, not just the city. I absolutely love this place. You don’t ever want to change anything because that is God’s plan. I was talking to my bride Kelly, this place right here is just special. Like I was telling her last night, stuff like this you reminisce. When you graduate from college, no matter what profession you are in, if you want to be successful, my goal is to be significant. If you are significant, you are successful,” Coker added.
In July of 2021, the Bossier Parish School Board approved a motion to name Parkway’s baseball stadium Ronnie Coker Field. The Board Name Policy Committee met on July 7, 2021 to discuss the naming of the stadium. Other members of the committee were Shane Cheatham (former school board member and Parkway alumnus), Justin James (Principal, Airline High School), Bobby Marlow (former Parkway High School Head Football Coach and former principal at Elm Grove Middle School), Betty McCauley (former Parkway principal and school board Director of Student Services), Laban Levy (Parkway alumnus) and community/school board supporter Doug Rogers.
Coker retired in 2021, after a 25 year coaching and teaching career that he spent mostly in the Bossier Parish school system. His career concluded with a long stint as Airline High School’s athletic director.
In addition to leading Parkway High School to a state baseball title in 1998, Coker also led Parkway to a state runner-up finish in 1997. Coker also guided Captain Shreve to its only baseball state championship in 2006. The Gators finished as the Class 4A runner-up in 2007.
Coker was inducted into the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019. He has received many other honors, including being named Coach of the Year by the LBCA and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.