Former Harlan all-stater named to UK Hall of Fame


Former Harlan basketball/baseball standout Dickie Parsons was named to the the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023 on Thursday. Parsons is pictured when his jersey was retired during ceremonies at Harlan High School in the 1990s. Parsons, pictured with Harlan Independent Schools Superintendent David Johnson, was a second-team all-stater in 1957 before going on to play basketball and baseball at the University of Kentucky. Parsons was the head baseball coach at UK from 1970 to 1972 and was an assistant coach from 1970 to 1980 with the UK basketball program, first with Adolph Rupp and then under Joe Hall.

Dick Parsons, a standout athlete at Harlan High School in the 1950s who went on to play two sports at the University of Kentucky, has been honored as a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023, along with Robin Ewing Bodem (gymnastics), Chris Chenault (football), Danielle Galyer Day (swimming), Rajon Rondo (basketball) and Ryan Strieby (baseball) chosen for induction.
Parsons, a 1957 Harlan High School graduate, was an All-America shortstop in baseball and three-year letterman in men’s basketball. He later coached in both sports as well. He earned All-America honors in baseball after batting .400 as a senior and was a two-year first-team All-SEC and NCAA All-District as a junior and senior. He helped the team to a three-year record of 53-24.
In basketball, Parsons scored 511 points in three varsity seasons at UK and helped the Cats to a 61-19 record and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament .
Parsons was a team captain in both sports. He was baseball head coach from 1970-72, posting two winning records in his three seasons and men’s basketball assistant coach for 11 seasons, including the 1978 national champion team.
Parsons played for the legendary Joe Gilley at Harlan as the Dragons posted a record of 21-9 in 1955, 26-9 in 1956 and 22-9 in 1957. Parsons’ Harlan baseball teams won district titles in 1956 and 1957.