Ex-Spartans assistant Parker dies at 72

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Michigan State assistant Norm Parker has died. He was 72.

University of Iowa spokesman Steve Roe told The Associated Press that Parker — who most recentlty was the defensive coordinator for the Hawkeyes — died early Monday. Roe says more details should be available later in the day.

Parker began his college coaching career in 1968. He made stops at Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois, East Carolina, Michigan State and Vanderbilt. He spent his last 13 seasons at Iowa, where he developed a reputation as one of the country’s top coordinators.

The Hawkeyes were often built around Parker’s fundamentally sound defenses. The Hawkeyes finished in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense four times under Parker, who retired following the 2011 season.

Parker was born in Hazel Park, Mich., and played at Eastern Michigan.