[RICHMOND – October 28, 2022] — Virginia Union University renewed head football coach Dr. Alvin Parker’s contract for another three years extending through the 2025 season. The announcement comes as the VUU Panthers are currently 8-0 and ranked #10 in the nation by the American Football Coaches Association.
Named the 27th head football coach at Virginia Union University on Dec. 18, 2017, Alvin Parker Ph.D. a native of Washington, DC, and alumnus of Virginia Union, is in his fifth season at the helm of the program in the fall of 2022. Parker also serves as the University’s Associate Director of Athletics, a post he assumed in August of 2021.
Widely familiar with the CIAA Football landscape, the 2022 season marks Parker’s 24th year roaming the collegiate sidelines. Known for developing champions, Parker’s career has featured multiple conference and divisional championships on the field, while guiding his offensive units to national leaders in multiple categories and coaching numerous all-conference and All-American student-athletes.
During his time at VUU, Parker has a record of 29-9 overall and a 22-5 record in CIAA games. Parker also serves as a leader in the profession, locally and nationally, serving on the AFCA Rules Committee, AFCA Minority Issues Committee, serving as the President of the CIAA Coaches Association, and the founder and President of Home Team Foundation Inc.
In his second stint at VUU, the 2022 season marks Parker’s ninth with the Panthers overall. Formerly an offensive assistant with the program under legendary coach Willard Bailey from 1999-2003, Parker returned to Lombardy Street after stints at Saint Augustine’s University and Elizabeth City State University. Since his return to VUU, Parker has helped the Panthers defeat FCS programs, top 25 rankings, and has had consistent winning seasons.
Parker hoists a 16-5 CIAA record, and a 21-9 overall record after three playing seasons. Before the Panthers missed the 2020 season due to COVID-19, Parker guided the 2019 Panthers to their first national ranking in the AFCA poll after being ranked 25th entering week seven of the season, this after earning a top 25 ranking from Lindy’s Magazine in the pre-season poll.
Emphasizing discipline, Parker’s team have ranked among the top 25 in the country in turnover margin, total defense, scoring defense, scoring offense, and rushing offense. On special teams, VUU also has thrived, ranking tops in the nation in blocked punts and kicks. The impact Parker has had on the program in such a short time has been considerable. Following the spring 2020 semester, 47 football student athletes obtained above a 3.0 GPA, all this culminated with a football student-athlete being named the universities co-valedictorian (Emmanuel Antwi).
Parker coached the 2019 CIAA Special Teams player of the year Jefferson Souza, who was also named the Don Hansen Super region two Special Teams player of the year. He developed Khalid Morris who led the league in passing yards per game and was also tied for first in passing TD’s. 2019 also saw Charles Hall lead the nation (NCAA) in yards per catch (25.9). In his inaugural season as the head coach of the Panthers, Parker posted the best record of a first-year coach at VUU with an 8-2 overall mark. Recognized as one of the most gifted offensive football minds during his heralded career as an assistant coach, the Panthers had one of their most successful seasons in 2018.
Virginia Union ranked #1 in several categories in the CIAA including scoring offense (5th NCAA-45.2ppg), scoring defense (20th NCAA-18.9ppg) and rush offense (15 NCAA-253.3ypg). The Panthers also finished first in the league in sacks allowed, which was good for eighth in the NCAA. They topped the nation in blocked kicks and set school records for rushing yards in a game (494 vs Lincoln) along with total and rushing touchdowns with twelve and nine in a single game, respectively.
Over his previous time on the Union staff, the Panthers won three CIAA Eastern Division crowns, captured the (2001) CIAA title and played in the 2001 Pioneer Bowl. Dr. Parker coached André Braxton, the CIAA’s all-time leading rusher and single season touchdown record holder, who would go on to be named the recipient of the (2000) Alonzo “Jake” Gaither Award as the top HBCU player in the nation. Braxton was an All-CIAA honoree all four years at VUU and named Player of the Year in 2000.
Before his successes as a coach and an academician, Parker was a standout student-athlete during his playing days at VUU. He earned offensive MVP honors in 1996 and 1998, still ranks in the top ten amongst the Panther greats in single season touchdowns scored and is the Gold Bowl record holder for the longest TD — a 79-yard reception.
His dedication and success as one of the nation’s top assistants had not gone unnoticed as he was named a finalist for the AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year Award every year from 2013-2016. Throughout his coaching career, Dr. Parker has made remarkable strides for the Southern Arkansas University and Elizabeth City State University football programs.
Parker received his Master of Science degree in Sport Leadership/Athletic Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication/Journalism from Virginia Union University. He obtained his Doctorate in Education/Sport Management from Northcentral University in 2017. Parker is also the author of the book “Stronger than Pride.”
Parker and his wife LaToya reside in Richmond. He is the proud father of a son Alan and daughter Lani.