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Illinois Football: Corey Parker Wins Over Introductory Press Conference

Recently hired Illinois Football assistant Corey Parker wants to leave a lasting impact on the players he coaches



New Illinois Football Assistant Wants to Leave a Lasting Impact
Sep 8, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Xavier Scott (14) celebrates with teammates after an interception during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

New Illinois Football Assistant Wants to Leave a Lasting Impact

Recently hired Illinois Football coach Corey Parker brought the energy during his introductory press conference on Tuesday (5/21). The former Toledo assistant was hired by Bret Bielema to coach defensive backs, after a tough year in the Illini secondary. Of course, due to so much attrition to the NFL, and coaching transition after the 2022 season.

Parker boasts his excitement to be apart of Bret Bielema’s program, as well as making the jump to the power five level. Giving detailed accounts of his past experiences, as well as discussing his outlook on the future of Illinois Football. However, the focal point of today’s presser was the energy and passion coach Parker brings to the table as a developer of young men. Certainly, a very important, and underrated aspect of coaching responsibilities, which is not to be taken lightly. Many of us share a similar experience of a coach/mentor who has made a lasting impact on our lives. For Corey, that impact is the motivation behind the craft he so passionately enjoys. Reminding us that leadership ascends far beyond the gridiron.

Quote From Corey Parker

“I tell these kids, I tell them, one day when I’m pushing daisies in my casket, you’ll remember one thing coach tried to teach you. Something that coach tried to give to ya, that has nothing to do with football,” states Parker emotionally. “For me, it was hard for me to leave River Rouge (HS), just as much as it was hard for me to leave Toledo just now. So, I called every single player, I talked to every single guy. Those were some heartfelt conversations.” says the new Illini hire. “But most of all, those guys were proud of me, and they were happy. It gives me goose bumps thinking about it right now, ya know? It was the same thing at River Rouge, those guys felt that passion about my success, because they knew I sacrificed to much to see them grow.” Said Corey. “That’s ultimately who I am as a man. I give everybody all I have, every single rep, every single down.”

WATCH: Corey Parker Presser 5/21/24 (Fighting Illini Athletics on YouTube)

Hire Breakdown

After David Gibbs resigned from the Illinois Football program in the spring due to health issues, the Illini were down a defensive backs coach. Aaron Henry’s unit needed to add a quality leader in the secondary, and they did just that on Monday (5/13). Bret Bielema officially hired former Toledo defensive backs coach Corey Parker, who spent the past two seasons coaching corners for the Rockets. During his short time in Northern Ohio, Parker helped lead two-time All-American Quinyon Mitchell to a first-round draft pick. Recently, Mitchell was selected No. 22 overall in the NFL Draft, taking his talents to the Philadelphia Eagles. Parker boasted a top-10 passing defense in both of his seasons with Toledo.

Bret Bielema on Parker

“I am excited to welcome Coach Parker and his family to Champaign,” said Bielema. “Corey is a proven coach on many levels, both on and off the field. His experiences will bring tremendous value to our program and defensive backs.”

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Kirkland is a go-to source for Illinois athletics news. He is the lead Football analyst at Armchair Illini and has been featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, Yard Barker, Autograph, Newsbreak, CBS Sports and more.