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Norm Parker Passes Away
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- One of the best known assistant coaches under the Kirk Ferentz era has died. Sources tell CBS 2 that Norm Parker passed away. Additional details have not been released. Parker was the defensive coordinator for the Iowa Hawkeyes for Ferentz's first 13 years with the team. He stepped down after the Insight Bowl in 2011.
The first news of his passing came in the form of a tweet from former player Tyler Sash. Sash wrote, "R.I.P. Coach Norm Parker. Thank you for everything!"
Former player and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Adrian Clayborn tweeted, "Sad to wake up and hear about Norm. He was great man and coach. His talks were the best"
Under Parker, the Hawkeyes ranked among the Top 10 in rushing defense five times. His squads were considered some of the most physical, hard-hitting teams in the Big Ten.
Parker's collegiate coaching career began in 1968 at Eastern Michigan. He also coached at Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois, East Carolina, Michigan State and Vanderbilt before he was named the Defensive Coordinator at Iowa.
Parker had battled health issues while at Iowa. His diabetes led doctors to amputate a foot in 2010, requiring extensive rehab. When he retired in 2011, Parker cited family reasons for his decision to leave the team. "After 48 years of doing something I love, it is time to enjoy some time with my grandkids." He said. Parker was named the 2011 Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. He was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2004 and 2005.