RICHMOND, Va. -- The assistant principal is a big man on campus at Armstrong High School in Richmond; maybe the biggest. That size helped Riddick Parker win the NFL's biggest prize with the New England Patriots in 2001.
Armstrong High principal Willie Bell can tell you a lot about Parker's promise before he played profession football. Bell, now Parker's boss, was previously his position coach at Southampton High School. Back then, the head coach wanted Parker to play on the offensive line.
“’He's 6’-4”, 6’-5”, weighs 280 pounds! He needs to be playing offense right now!'" Bell recalled the coach saying. "So, I had to fight for him."
While Parker eventually retired his shoulder pads, he shoulders the responsibility of molding young men and women to be their best.
"Game day is a testing day," Parker said. "So, when we get down to the nine-week assessments, we get down to SOL assessments, to us, that's our Super Bowl."
He'll tell you what students need is a winning game plan.
"Teaching is coaching. You know, essentially, you're looking at when you're going wrong, what you can improve upon and then putting together a game plan in place to make sure that happens," he said.
Hard work is what won Parker a Super Bowl championship. A sense of service is what's winning him the respect of students.
"He understands that somebody helped him," Bell said. "So now I'm going to help the next person and then that's what our kids see."
Teamwork. Service. Loyalty. You can see the loyalty when you ask him who's going to win the Super Bowl this Sunday.
"Oh, absolutely the Patriots," Parker said.
Winning a Super Bowl is the ultimate prize in football. Parker will tell you the only thing that might be better... is Building Better Minds.
Building Better Minds airs Wednesday on CBS 6 at 6 a.m.