Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced Rich Lillard will serve as Grand Marshal of the NEO Homecoming Parade. Lillard and his wife Heather, along with their three boys, Joe, age 12, Sam, age 7, and Luke, age 6 will lead the homecoming parade around campus on Saturday, Oct. 11. The annual parade begins at 10 a.m. and will feature NEO’s homecoming dignitaries, king and queen candidates, and decorated floats, as well as marching bands from NEO and area high schools. “Rich and Heather Lillard are a third generation NEO alumni family, and their passion for NEO is very evident on campus,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “It is an honor to have the Lillard family lead this year’s homecoming parade.”
The Lillards have been avid supporters of NEO. For the past several years, Rich has served as president of the NEO Football Booster Club, following in the footsteps of his father, Dick Lillard, who also led the booster club for numerous years. He is also the past chairman of the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame and currently still serves on the committee. Rich also coached the quarterbacks at NEO in 2009 and 2010. Also active in the community, Rich is a former member of the Miami City Council, Leadership Miami graduate, Miami Rotary Board of Directors, and former president of the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce. Heather is a former teacher for the Miami Public Schools and was named 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year for Rockdale Elementary. Currently she serves on the Miami Education Foundation Authority.
Rich and Heather are members of the Citizens for a Progressive Miami Committee and helped spearhead the drive for funding the Red Robertson Multi-Purpose Event and Sports Complex. They have also served as coaches for the Miami youth soccer program and little league baseball. Both graduates of NEO A&M College, Rich transferred and graduated from Pittsburg State University and Heather graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. Invested in the community, Rich is the employee benefits consultant and Heather is account manager with the insurance and risk management firm, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company in Miami. The Lillards have been married for 14 years and the family attends First United Methodist Church of Miami.