EMU Hall of Famer Norm Parker passes away

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Norm Parker, a former Eastern Michigan University football and wrestling student-athlete and a 2011 inductee into the EMU Athletic Hall of Fame, passed away on Jan. 13, at the age of 72.

Parker earned four football letters and two varsity wrestling letters at EMU from 1960-63. In addition to being a position player in football he also handled the place-kicking duties for the football team.

University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reflected on the impact Parker made as the defensive coordinator on his staff from 1999-2011.

“Norm played a major role in any on-the-field success we experienced during his 13 years as our defensive coordinator,” Ferentz said on hawkeyesports.com Monday. “Norm’s impact on the success of our football program as a defensive coach cannot be overstated.

A native of Hazel Park, Parker earned his bachelor’s degree in special education in 1965 and his master’s in physical education in 1967. He started his coaching career at Ypsilanti St. John’s High School in 1965 and joined the EMU football staff in 1968 as the linebackers coach.

He served as Iowa’s defensive coordinator from 1999-2011, retiring following the 2011 Insight Bowl. He had five defenses rank in the top 10 in yards allowed, four that ranked in the top 10 against the run and two in the top 10 in points allowed.

The Funeral Mass will be held Friday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chelsea, with Rev. Dr. William Turner officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove East Cemetery in Chelsea. The family will receive friends at Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea on Thursday 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

A memorial service will be held in Iowa City at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics or may be directed to The Norm Parker Athletic Scholarship Fund c/o The University of Iowa Foundation, PO Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.

The Eastern Echo sends our condolences to the Parker family.

Credit: emueagles.com and hawkeyesports.com.

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