Phil Parker named semifinalist for Broyles Award

On3 imageby:Tom Kakert11/20/23


Phil Parker is generally recognized as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country. The Broyles Award realizes that and on Monday, Parker made the cut as one of 15 semifinalists for the annual award that recognizes the top assistant coach in college football.

It is the second straight year Parker has been named a Broyles Award semifinalist. Two Hawkeye coaches — Norm Parker (2013) and Ron Aiken (2002) — have been named the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year. Norm Parker was also a finalist in 2004 and 2005. 

The foundation will narrow a list of 15 semifinalists to five and the finalists will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the awards luncheon on Dec. 5. 

Parker, who is in his 25th season on Iowa’s coaching staff (12th as defensive coordinator), has been the mastermind behind one of the nation’s top defenses in 2023. The Hawkeyes have allowed just 12 touchdowns in 11 games (third fewest in the NCAA) and the unit ranks third nationally, giving up 12.3 points per game. 

The Hawkeyes have given up one touchdown or less in nine of 11 games this season and the unit is ranked in the top 17 nationally in total defense for a sixth straight year. The team is currently seventh in total defense, allowing 281.4 yards per game. Iowa’s defense has allowed 400 yards or less in 22 straight games dating back to the 2021 season — the longest active streak nationally. 

One of Parker’s main principles is limiting “explosive” plays. In 2023, the Hawkeyes have allowed just 15 such plays in the team’s first 11 games. 

Across the board, Iowa ranks in the top 20 nationally in virtually every defensive category this season, sitting fourth in team passing efficiency defense (98.36), sixth in red zone defense (.708), 10th in passing yards allowed (173.0), 16th in first down defense (182), 18th in rushing defense (108.4) and third down conversion percentage defense (.311). 

Under Parker’s tutelage, three defensive players — DB Cooper DeJean, DB Sebastian Castro and LB Jay Higgins — were midseason All-Americans. DeJean is a finalist for the Nagurski Award and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy, while Higgins is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award.  

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