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January 13th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Red Parker And His Second Day Of Head Coaching


(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Red Parker (left) became Clemson's 19th coach for the 1973 season. When he arrived he told a humorous story as described by Joe Sherman:

"I had just gone to my first coaching job at Fordyce, Arkansas, the hometown of Paul (Bear) Bryant, one of the greatest coaches in the game."

"Fordyce is really a football town and all they could talk about was Bear Bryant this and Bear Bryant that and Bear Bryant the other. As a very young, very green coach, I was intimidated."

"About the second day on the job, I was sitting alone in my cubbyhole of an office when I saw two citizens coming down the hall. When they were about 30 feet away, I grabbed the telephone and started talking, kinda loud.”

"Now look here, Bear, I've told you everything about that offense that I can on the phone. And I've got work to do here. I'll try to get away one day and come down and explain it to you.” ‘By this time the two men were in the door and I held the phone away from my mouth and said to them’, “I'm talking with Bear Bryant right now. Be with you in a minute.”

"Then back to the phone. 'Look, Bear, you'll just have to stop calling me during the season. You and Bobby Dodd are just about running me crazy asking about that offense and defense I'm using. I'll see you after the season and help you all I can’!”

"Then I hung up and turned to the two fellows standing in the doorway. 'I'm sorry, I had to help Bear with a little problem. Now what can I do for you folks?'

"They looked at each other and then one of them said, 'Well, nothing, really, they just sent us over to hook up your phone.' "

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Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

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