WINFIELD — Ken Parker made many friends and few enemies in his 30-year coachingcareer.
Opposing coaches talked of his well-organized and classy program; former players talked of how hard Parker worked to help athletes hook up with the right college.
Parker, the dean of county coaches, announced yesterday that he is ending his 25-year career as South Carroll High's only head football coach, with a 125-114 record and three state playoff appearances.
He previously worked five years as head coach at Northhampton High in Eastville on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
"About a year or so ago,I began thinking about (retiring)," Parker said.
"You have to give it up sometime, and I thought this year wouldn't be a bad year."
Parker said he will stay at the school as a physical education teacher, adding he'd like to stay as an assistant coach "if the new coach will have me."
Though the Cavaliers reached the state tournament three times in Parker's career -- all in the 1980s -- none won a tournament game.
Despite heavy losses to graduation heading into the 1991 season, the Cavs finished 6-4.
They opened the season with a close loss against Wilde Lake, the eventual state Class 1A champion, and ended with a win over rival Westminster.
Parker said his first win over Westminster -- in 1978 -- was the most satisfying in his career.
The Owls had won the first 10 meetings between the two teams, but the two split their last 14 games.
Many of Parker's players went on to play at large and small colleges throughout the East.
TwoSouth Carroll graduates were playing for NCAA Division 1A teams lastfall -- Mike Mooney on the offensive line at Georgia Tech and Mike Landry as a linebacker at the University of South Carolina.
"Most of what I know about football came from Ken Parker," said Bruce Cowan,a former Parker assistant who became head coach and athletic director at Liberty and is a vice principal at Francis Scott Key. "He was like a big brother to you."
South Carroll Athletic Director Fred Baker said the job will be advertised internally, as per state regulations.