Arizona standout and NFL veteran Glenn Parker, offensive line coach at Catalina Foothills, is living the thrill of high school football that he did not experience as a player.
Parker is a carryover on new coach Darius Kelly’s coaching staff from Jeff Scurran’s time as Catalina Foothills coach. After Scurran announced he was leaving the school before the final game last season, I asked Parker if he would consider becoming the head coach.
He mentioned that his other interests, including serving as an analyst during pregame and postgame shows with the Arizona Cardinals, would prevent him from devoting enough time to the demands of a head coach.
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Parker said the time he does get to share with his son Will, a standout linebacker and defensive end, and the rest of the Catalina Foothills players is precious because of what it means to their development. The Falcons open their 2019 season at home against Buena on Friday at 7 p.m. in one of the signature games of the Coaches for Charity Kickoff Classic.
“For me, it’s just about the kids,” Parker said at the recent Coaches for Charity Kickoff Classic luncheon. “It’s about them maturing and them finding their passion for this game.
“Football is like no other sport. It can’t be played by itself. Every kid have to give of himself for the greater good of the team. Nobody gets to be a superstar. I love that part of the game because I wasn’t mature enough to play it in high school. I went through it much later.”
Parker was not interested in sports when younger and did not play football while attending Edison High School in Huntington Beach. Because of his size, strength and image — including wearing a bandanna and having a goatee — he was noticed by coaches at Golden West Junior College close to where he grew up at Huntington Beach.
After excelling for Golden West on the line, Arizona and coach Dick Tomey offered him a scholarship. He became an All-Pac-10 player at Arizona and five-time Super Bowl participant in a 12-year NFL career.
“I love watching these kids grow and mature through the course of the season and the offseason … watch them grow up and come back and just become great adults,” Parker said.
Parker, who was one of the best analysts for Pac-12 Network but no longer works for the conference, said being a coach on a team with his son as a top player is an “easy dynamic” for him.
“My son has always come to me for advice, so I really don’t have to coach him. He’s (also) a linebacker and I coach offensive line,” Parker said. “I give him some tips and pointers occasionally that I see that I know bothered me when I played that linebackers did. But really, it’s easy for me because I really don’t have to do too much with him.”
Also in the accompanying video, Parker talks about how much he likes coaching with Kelly and the new staff at Catalina Foothills and his thoughts on the Arizona Wildcats in 2019.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.