Parker is nation's top assistant coach

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker has been named winner of the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football.

The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation presented the award during a ceremony Tuesday. Parker had been a semifinalist for the award last year.

“Phil Parker is an incredible football coach, and I am extremely pleased that he has been recognized for his career success by the Broyles Committee,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We simply would not have achieved the success we have as a program without Phil’s dedication and leadership. Since 1999, we have benefited from Phil’s expertise and tenacity.”

The 60-year-old Parker is in his 25th season on Iowa’s coaching staff and 12th as defensive coordinator. The Hawkeyes (10-3) have allowed 15 touchdowns in 13 games, and their 13.2-point defensive average is the team’s lowest since 2008 and ranks fourth nationally.

Iowa ranks fifth in total defense and has allowed 400 yards or fewer in 27 straight games, the longest active streak in the Bowl Subdivision. Iowa ranks in the top 20 nationally in almost every major defensive category.

The Hawkeyes’ top defensive players are cornerback Cooper DeJean, who was a finalist for the Nagurski Award and Thorpe Award, and linebacker Jay Higgins, who was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award.

Parker is the third Iowa assistant to win the Broyles Award. The others were Norm Parker (no relation) in 2013 and Ron Aiken in 2002.

The 20th-ranked Hawkeyes play No. 25 Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1.