Last summer on July 2nd the world, the NAIA, college athletics, and most importantly the Parker family, lost a great man. His name was Bruce Parker and he was my friend. At the time when he passed away, I stated on social media that I would give Bruce his due down the road. I’ve always been a bit miffed on how we honor someone when they pass away and then we hear nary a word about them until some posthumous award is given to them or a building is named in their honor.
So many people knew, loved, and respected Bruce. If I would’ve written about him last summer my experiences would’ve been lost in the outpouring of love and grief displayed for Bruce. So I am being a bit selfish writing this down the road and wanting people to pay attention to what I have to say. There are a ton of stories I would like to share about Bruce, but for now I want to focus on a few things that made him special and how he helped me personally.
Casey Page of 406MTSports.com wrote a great piece on Bruce. If you need to catch up, here it is: “Bruce Parker, a decorated Montana sports figure who is enshrined in five Halls of Fame for his work as athletic director at Carroll College and then Rocky Mountain College, died after a long fight with diabetes and complications following a kidney transplant. He was 64.”
Bruce understood what I was trying to do when I owned the Victory Sports Network and he saw what it meant to schools, athletes and alumni. He was a trusted advisor to my business and did everything he could to help me grow it into the national media for NAIA athletics. He also understood the struggles that I had with NAIA national office early in my career. I was the young kid poking them in the side all the time. I’d ask them questions they didn’t want to answer and often times did not following their protocols. They didn’t hate me but they didn’t exactly like me. The NAIA tolerated me. Then a moment in November of 2007 changed it all.Continue reading