2010 Orange Bowl rewind: Norm’s masterpiece

Hawkeye Headquarters

Find out how the Hawks defensive coordinator stymied Georgia Tech's offense

We’ve got a special broadcast of the 2010 Orange Bowl this Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Quad Cities CW (Channel 26.1). All week long, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with that team. In the third of our five-part series, Hawkeye Headquarters reporter Adam Rossow tells us about the wizardry of defensive coordinator Norm Parker.

One of the big stories from the 2010 Orange Bowl was the Hawkeyes suffocating run defense.

Iowa dominated Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack. The credit went to the Hawks wily defensive coordinator.

“That game, that was all him on defense, we just did what he said,” said former Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer. “That was all him. He drew it up, made it easy for us.”

It was an old-school game plan devised by an old-school coach.

“When Norm found out that we were playing Georgia Tech, and he found out that we had probably a month, maybe more to prepare for them, I think there was no doubt in his mind that we weren’t going to shut them down,” said former Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns.

Four decades of defensive experience coming in handy in Miami.

“He had started coaching at a time when the triple option was everywhere,” said former Iowa offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde. “He grew up in the triple option era, so he knew how to handle it. He knew how to scheme it. He knew where guys were gonna line up. He knew how to coach the reads and everything.”

Norm Parker was already a legend by the time the Hawks played in Miami, but his scheme to stop Georgia Tech’s offense was one of his finest concoctions.

“He just simplified it. He made it very easy, where he goes basically we just lineup like they do. We lineup like they do, we move like they do, we beat them up front, try to force the ball outside. They’re not gonna beat us up the middle,” Angerer said.

Believing in the plan was easy because of how much the defenders believed in Parker.

“He was calm, cool, collected in every meeting, this is what we’re going to do. If you do your job, we’ll be successful,” Binns said. “Norm’s tutelage and just Norm’s coaching ability. We all bought into it. Whatever he said, we certainly did.”

Iowa held Tech to just 155 yards of offense and under three-and-a-half yards per carry in the win.

“He’s an old guy, had a bunch of knowledge, just super smart. Always with it, always on point,” Angerer said. “He could relate to anybody from anywhere and any situation he had an answer for. He was somebody you wanted to make proud, somebody you knew you could trust.”

The Orange Bowl scheme was one of Parker’s final masterpieces before he died in 2014 at the age of 72.

“Seeing his face after the game was, that was the highlight of my career. Seeing how happy he was and the joy and everything,” Angerer said. “Norm is a legend. He’s somebody I miss every day.”

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