“Doug Parker is one of the legends among Springfield College coaches,” said Richard B. Flynn, president of Springfield College. “He not only had an amazing coaching record, he influenced generations of students, faculty, and staff.”
Parker served as head wrestling coach at Springfield College for 35 years starting in 1955 and concluding with his retirement in 1990. In that span, Parker’s teams won 22 New England Championship titles, including 16 consecutive from 1955-1970. Overall, Parker finished his coaching career with 485 victories, 35 straight winning seasons, and 15 top-20 national rankings.
After President Flynn and Parker unveiled the plaque that will be placed in the room, Parker spoke about his commitment to Springfield College. “It was amazing to see how many people took part in this special day. It was just great to see all the former wrestlers and their families back on campus. I really appreciate everything that has happened and will happen at Springfield College.”
Parker was instrumental in building a winning tradition at Springfield College and he instilled a strong set of values that the current wrestling program carries on with pride. In 2008, Springfield College became only the fourth collegiate wrestling program in the country to win 900 matches, joining Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, and Oregon State University with that honor.
“What made coach Parker so special were the personal connections he made with his student-athletes and also other members of the campus,” said Jason Holder, Springfield College head wrestling coach. “Coach Parker had an unconditional regard for his student-athletes and he always had creative ways to connect with and motivate his student-athletes. All of these qualities have developed great wrestlers and great wrestling teams at Springfield College.”
Parker, a 1951 Springfield College graduate, spent 41 years at his alma mater. In the 35 years as head wrestling coach, he totaled an overall record of 485-159-11 never recording a losing season. In February 2009, he was recognized as the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) "Man of the Year" during the NEWA Tournament held at Springfield College.