Here's why Parkway's Brian Rayner wanted to be a head coach after 18 years

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

Brian Rayner waited with the patience of Job to land a head coaching gig.

After 18 years as an assistant coach in four different sports at Parkway, the veteran coach was recently named head  coach of the boys basketball program with the Panthers.

“I had shown interest in the Haughton job when coach (Norm) Picou left and applied for the Airline job when Chris White left,” Rayner said. “But God, who has always been good to me and my family, had other plans for me. I was blessed to wait it out. It worked out for the best.” 

Rayner was content to serve with others coaching basketball, football, track and baseball at various times in south Bossier. But his time came  to take the next step. 

Parkway coach Brian Rayner

“It’s been awesome to try to help our players win games and win in life. We’ve been pretty successful at Parkway over the last 15 years,” Rayner said. “But it happens in all coaches’ lives – what if this were mine? How would it look? It became that time for me.”

BYRD HIRE: Byrd hires Amy Hodge to coach softball

CLINT WALKER: Plain Dealing lands new football coach 

BOSSIER HIRE: Bearkats get new basketball coach

A 1996 Parkway graduate, Rayner played collegiately for two of the best guards in Louisiana Tech history – Rennie Bailey (now the boys coach at Minden) at Panola and the recently retired Mike McConathy at Northwestern State after walking on with the Demons. He coached briefly at Plain Dealing Middle School before arriving at Parkway in 2004.

He assisted with basketball, football and track although he knew “absolutely nothing” about the two latter sports. The track gig was with Justin Scogin, who recently took over the football program at Airline. 

“For 12 years, I’ve been the defensive line coach at Parkway even though I didn’t play a down of the sport when I was in school. But I love it,” Rayner said. “If you had told me I’d be coaching football and track when I left NSU, I’d have said ‘no way.’ I started with baseball in 2014 and had the opportunity to coach my son in that sport.” 

Woodlawn's Delatrion Moton accepts the consolation trophy from the Parkway Tournament from Parkway coach Brian Rayner.

 He was on staff with former Parkway basketball coach Mike Guess, Rayner has had a lot of input into the program and likely won’t change much. He and assistant coach Tucker Cox have been busy getting the returnees to buy into the mantra “relentless.”

“We want the kids to understand in basketball, in school, with their character in their social lives and at home,” Rayner said. “We’ve been harping on it and it’s working out so far.”

Last season’s group of Panthers was young and most of the squad is returning with a strong group of incoming freshmen. 

“The kids who chose to stick through the summer are mentally tough,” Rayner said. “They’ve shown they belong and are ready to compete.”

Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.