Norm Parker was in Des Moines yesterday for what is usually a February recruiting recap event, but this year turned into a retirement well wishing event where he spent some time sharing stories from his coaching career.
Parker said that during his time as an assistant at Michigan State when they were playing Iowa, the Hawkeyes ran a sweep toward the Spartan sideline and he was at the line of scrimmage. As the play got closer to the sideline and he tried to move back, he felt pressure from the people behind him trying to push the people in front out of the way. The ball carrier ended up running into Parker and knocking him out, "I never stood on the line of scrimmage-extended, ever again.” Parker said.
When Parker was asked about Iowans and the bond that Hawkeye fans share, Parker said "We don’t have any oceans here in Iowa, we don’t really have things that stand out. But I think that is a strength because it just means we have each other. So the people and what they have in common is what stands out.”
Parker also admitted that Iowa football "isn't sexy". He expanded by saying, "You don’t come here to ski; you go to Colorado. You don’t come here to sit on the beach; you go to Miami. If you want to play football, you come to Iowa.” You can bet he shared that with recruits over the years.
Parker shared a ton of stories over the years at the event, and says that he still plans to go to the football complex each day to do some work, but doesn't envision himself being the type of guy to sit in on coaching meetings. "I don’t want to be one of those guys who overshadows other people. This is Phil Parker’s defense now, it’s not mine.”