Q&A with Mitchell Kapler
Glenn Parker played football at Arizona for two years (1988-1989) before he started a 12-year NFL career. Parker came to Arizona after playing two years at Gold West Junior College. As a senior at Arizona he earned All-PAC-10 honors and second-team All-America honors. A third round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, Parker enjoyed a stellar career playing in five Super Bowls. He played at Buffalo from 1990-1996, Kansas City 1997-1999, and New York Giants 2000-2001. In 2001, he was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. Parker is married to Casey Parker, the couple reside in Tucson with four children, Madeline, Emily, and twins Caroline and Williams.
What is your greatest Wildcat memory?
I would have to say beating ASU in front of the home crowd (56,978) and/or beating OU in front of the home crowd (50,931). They were both great games. Arizona State was great because of the rivalry that exist between the two schools (1988 28-18). The OU win was special because they were ranked so high (#8 AP). It was one of those games that we kept bludgeoning each other, all we did was run the ball with Mario Hampton and got in range for the game winning field goal in the final minutes of the game (6-3).
What was the pinnacle of your career?
I think personally getting the MVP award for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1998. As a team player going to the Super Bowl five times, although four of those were with the Buffalo Bills they were different teams every year.
How did you like living in New York?
I didn’t like New Jersey where I lived, but loved New York City.
What do you like to do on your free time?
I cook a lot and I am in to wine. I love hiking around Southern AZ, specifically Santa Catalina’s.
Any thoughts on the future of Wildcat football?
I think we are heading in the right direction, first of all Coach Stoops brings good energy to the program. He is the type of guy Arizona needed to get; involved, young, and enthusiastic. I think the future is very bright with the names we have on the coaching staff. The best-case scenario is that he (Coach Stoops) stays here for a long time.
Who was your role model growing up?
My father more than anything because he overcame so much in his life; he went to World War II (was in the Navy), fought in Korea, retired in the 1960’s from the service and became an engineer. Provided a great home for us, had personal battles and won them all.
Why did you decide to come to the U of A?
I was an older a guy, at that time I was 22. I looked at the place and the school more than the program. I loved Tucson and loved the atmosphere in the end, I loved the staff and I loved the University of Arizona. The coaching staff sold me on the town and school, and when I visited I loved the campus, I had no negatives on the trip or with the coaching staff and ultimately that made a big difference.
I know you went to five super bowls but does anyone stand out?
They all do but that last because I knew it was my last one and I thought we had a good game plan going into the game but went away from it during the game and I felt personal about the loss.
Where did you go to high school?
I Went to Edison High School, in Huntington Beach but didn’t start playing football until Junior College at Golden West.
What was it about Tucson that made you decide to come back and live here?
When you are done, you can pick anywhere you want to go. The quality of life here for the cost of living, the weather and the fact we both went to school here even though we didn’t grow up here. I think if you lived in the desert for sometime that it draws you back. Phoenix is a big city, concrete and asphalt haven but in Tucson it is laid back and the community is intent on keeping Tucson casual.
This is a tough question but I love the Lion in Winter with Peter O’Toole, Citizen Kane as well as China Town with Jack Nicholson
Favorite place to eat in Tucson?
Bistro’s Inn or Vervace and I also go to “El Guero Canelo” in South Tucson about twice a week.
Any last thoughts?
We are absolutely enchanted with this town, we had so many other opportunities to move to other towns to broadcast but we have loved it here. This community has embraced us and I have been particularly busy with YMCA, which I absolutely love.