Phil Parker Named Broyles Award Finalist

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa defensive coordinator and secondary coach Phil Parker has been named a finalist for the Broyles Award, it was announced Monday by the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation. The Broyles Award is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football. 

Parker is the only defensive coach among the five finalists for the distinguished award. Other finalists include offensive coordinators from Georgia (Mike Bobo), LSU (Mike Denbrock), Michigan (Sherrone Moore) and Oregon (Will Stein).

Parker was named a Broyles Award semifinalist for the second straight year on Nov. 20. 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 finalists will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the award ceremony 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 13 touchdowns in 12 games (tied for fewest in the NCAA with Ohio State) and the unit ranks fourth nationally, giving up 12.2 points per game. 

The Hawkeyes have given up one touchdown or less in 10 of 12 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 279.9 yards per game. Iowa’s defense has allowed 400 yards or less in 23 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 18 such plays in the team’s first 12 games. 

Across the board, Iowa ranks in the top 25 nationally in virtually every defensive category this season, sitting third in red zone defense (.708), fourth in team passing efficiency defense (99.46), seventh in total defense (279.9), 10th in first downs defense (192), 16th in rushing defense (105.6) and 23rd in third down conversion defense (.325). 

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 was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. 

The Hawkeyes return to action Dec. 2, traveling to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. Iowa will face nationally-ranked Michigan at 7:17 p.m. (CT) at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

2023 Broyles Award Finalists
Mike Bobo (Offensive Coordinator/QB) — Georgia
Phil Parker (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary) — Iowa
Mike Denbrock (Offensive Coordinator/TE) — LSU
Sherrone Moore (Offensive Coordinator/OL) — Michigan
Will Stein (Offensive Coordinator) — Oregon