Tag:Norm Parker
Posted on: February 7, 2012 7:22 pm

Iowa's Phil Parker promoted to D-coordinator

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Under Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has enjoyed one of the most stable, most continuity-heavy coaching staffs in the country. So it wasn't a surprise Tuesday when Ferentz announced he had promoted one of his own to the Hawkeyes' vacant defensive coordinator position.

That coach is Phil Parker, the Hawkeyes' secondary coach for the past 13 seasons. Parker will replace Norm Parker (no relation), who retired following the 2011 season after 12 years as the Iowa DC. The two Parkers served as co-defensive coordinators in 2010 as Norm battled diabetes complications.

As part of Phil's promotion, offensive line coach Reese Morgan will switch to coaching the defensive line, while linebackers coach Darrell Wilson will take over Parker's duties with the defensive backs. Morgan has been with the Hawkeye staff for the past 12 seasons, and Wilson for the past 10.

"Phil, Darrell and Reese have all done an outstanding job in our program for a significant period of time," Ferentz said in a statement. "I am confident they will have a very positive effect on our team as we transition forward."

While Parker will have to prove his worth as a full-time coordinator, there's not much doubting his resume as a secondary coach; the Hawkeyes have produced multiple All-Big Ten and even All-American defensive backs on his watch, including Tyler Sash, Amari Spievey and Shaun Prater, and put together back-to-back national top-five finishes in opponent's passer rating in 2008 and 2009.

So Parker's promotion may not have the buzziest, sexiest decision from a coaching perspective, but if it yields the same defensive results the Hawkeyes have enjoyed since Ferentz's arrival -- and   there's little reason to think it won't -- it should prove effective all the same.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:19 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:36 pm

Iowa loses Ken O'Keefe to the NFL

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten, patrolling the Iowa sideline since 1999. Over that span, Ferentz has had only one offensive coordinator with him at the school, Ken O'Keefe.

That will no longer be the case.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, O'Keefe is leaving a program to take a job with the Miami Dolphins. New Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin spent several years on Iowa's staff, coaching the offensive line from 1999 to 2002.

Ferentz confirmed the news in a release saying that "Ken O'Keefe has decided to leave our staff for another coaching opportunity."

All of which means there will be a lot of turnover on a coaching staff that hasn't had much at all ever since Ferentz was hired. Defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired following the 2011 season, and defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski left to take a job with Nebraska in December.

As for whom Ferentz will find to replace O'Keefe, it's still to early to know for sure. After all, Iowa still has to find a replacement for Parker to run the defense.

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Posted on: December 31, 2011 1:41 am
Edited on: December 31, 2011 1:42 am

Mike Stoops to join Oklahoma staff?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Late in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma's 31-14 victory over Iowa in the Insight Bowl, ESPN's sideline reporter Heather Cox broke some news, saying that there were "strong indications" that former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops would be joining Oklahoma's coaching staff. Cox reported that Stoops had been on both the Oklahoma sideline and in the coaches box during the game.

Mike Stoops, of course, is the brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. He was relieved of is head coaching duties at Arizona earlier this season.

While it's not official, Cox also reported that there could be a possible announcement in the coming days, and that Stoops would serve as a co-defensive coordinator with Brent Venables.

Stoops' name has been mentioned at quite a few schools since he lost his job at Arizona, including at Iowa, ironically enough, as Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker coached his final game with the Hawkeyes on Friday night. Both Mike and Bob Stoops went to school at Iowa, and Stoops was an assistant at the school in the late 80s.

Stoops spent five seasons with the Sooners as an assistant under his brother from 1999 to 2003, including Oklahoma's last national championship in 2000.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 9:46 pm

Iowa DC Norm Parker retires after 44-year career

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Kirk Ferentz is the most tenured coach in the Big Team, and as long as he's been the head coach at Iowa, he's had Norm Parker as his defensive coordinator. Until now. On Sunday, Iowa announced that Parker, 68, would retire after the Insight Bowl, where the Hawkeyes are set to face Oklahoma.

"I would like to announce that the 2011 Insight Bowl will be my last game as a football coach at Iowa," said Parker in a statement released Sunday. "I would like to personally thank [Iowa athletic director] Gary Barta, Kirk Ferentz, the coaches, and players at Iowa, along with the fantastic fans. The entire Hawkeye community has been great. My wife Linda, and all the members of our family, were very pleased to be members of the Hawkeye family."

Parker's career as an assistant coach in the NCAA dates all the way back to 1968, when he was an offensive line coach for Eastern Michigan. Parker switched to the defensive side of the ball as a defensive line coach with Minnesota in 1972, and he's been a linebackers coach and/or defensive coordinator for the last 34 years with stops in Illinois, East Carolina, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, and finally Iowa. 

"Norm's contributions to our team the past 13 years are deeply appreciated, as he has had a tremendous impact on our program," said Ferentz on Sunday. "Norm is a superb defensive coach and has served as a strong role model and mentor for all of our players and our entire staff." 

Parker's health has been declining for the past few years, and in 2010 complications from diabetes forced doctors to amputate Parker's right leg below the knee. Parker was fitted with a prosthesis, and he coached games this year from the press box while using a golf cart to get around at practices.

The one aspect of Parker's defenses that he's best known for is a steadfast trust in his base 4-3 defense, and a blitz call was about as rare as a mooing steak in Iowa City. Still, the Hawkeyes were almost always in the Top 20 in total defense under Parker, and this year's mediocre numbers (eighth in the Big Ten in both total defense and scoring defense) were highly anomolous. And yet, Parker was still named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) after this season, and will be honored in January at the AFCA's annual convention.

Iowa has not hired a replacement for Parker yet, nor is it known whether the Hawkeyes will seek an outside candidate or promote a defensive coordinator from within, such as longtime Ferentz assistant Phil Parker. Kirk Ferentz has never had to replace a coordinator at Iowa (his OC, Ken O'Keefe, has also been in that role since Day 1), so there's no precedent from which one might glean an idea of what Ferentz will do here. Mike Stoops, the former Arizona head coach and Oklahoma defensive coordinator, is still available; Stoops played football at Iowa and was an assistant there for five years under Hayden Fry.

No timetable has been announced for the hiring of Parker's successor.
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