Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Differencemakers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Differencemakers

Article excerpt

Byline: lisa miller

carl parker

Carl Parker fulfilled a dream most boys leave behind after Pop Warner: he played professional football. But after just six years in the National Football League, which included a trip to the Super Bowl, Parker left the lucrative and at times unpredictable world of professional sports to raise his family. Taking a 12-year break to pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales, Parker has recently reverted to one of his first loves: athletics and coaching. Today he's three months into his role leading St. Johns County's northwest recreation and parks program, a position that affords him even more time with his children.

st. johns sun: How did you first become involved in recreation?

parker: I have four children, three boys, [ages] 15, 13 and 11 and my daughter is 9 ... since we've been here I've been active with the athletic associations. I've coached for the last seven years, three years at Bolles, three years at Trinity Christian and I've been at Bartram since Jan. 1, teaching and coaching football. It was there I decided to make a career change. I knew what was going on with the athletic association's perspective and I knew what was going on with the county's. I though this was a good opportunity to mesh the two together.

sjs: What did you do before that?

parker: I worked in pharmaceutical sales. That gave me the opportunity to, one, make more money and, two, spend more time with my family. Now, coaching is kind of an attraction. In the next seven years, all of my kids will come through Bartram. I always say you have one chance to build memories. You get the rest of your life to make money.

sjs: What are your responsibilities as northwest program director?

parker: The activities change at different parts of the year. Right now I'm working to get all of our summer camps running. …

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