During a coaching career that spanned more than half a century, Bruce Parker helped oversee the glory days at Berlin High School in the 1960s, and later coached other scholastic and collegiate championship teams in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
After growing up in Wakefield and Reading, Mass., where he helped found the varsity hockey program, Parker went on to Bowdoin College, where he set a program record for goals by a defenseman (15) during his senior year of 1962-63.
He played six years with the Berlin Maroons after graduation, including the AHA national championship seasons of 1966-67 and 1967-68. He also skated with the Manchester Blackhawks, the Concord Eastern Olympics and the Concord Budmen.
It was as a coach where Parker left his biggest mark. At Berlin High School, which won its first state championship in 1963 after years of playing runner-up to crosstown rival Notre Dame, he was on the coaching staff when the Mountaineers won five state titles in six seasons including New England Championship in 1966-67. As head coach his last two seasons, he guided the teams to a 34-15-1 record, two state championships and two runner-up finishes in the NE tournament.
From Berlin, Parker moved down to Massachusetts, spending five years as the head coach at Acton-Boxborough High School – winning a Division 2 state championship during the perfect season of 1973-74 after finishing as runner-up the year before – and four more at Methuen High School, which were the first four in program history and saw steady growth to respectability.
He coached five years at Merrimack College, winning an ECAC Division 2 championship in 1979-80 and going 100-76-6 overall, with one-third of those games played against Division 1 opponents. Three of his players were NCAA All-Americans.
From there, Parker moved on to New Jersey, winning back-to-back state championships at Montclair High School in 1987-88 and 1988-89. His career also included stints at Bourne (Mass.) High School and Framingham (Mass.) High School, where he guided both teams to the state tournament in all ten seasons. At Bourne they won EMASS Division 3 championship in 1989-90 and a Division 1 championship at Framingham in 1991-92.
Parker had a second tenure of coaching at Montclair High School from 1999-2009 and finished up at Seton Hall (N.J.) Prep in 2013. All of his NJ teams qualified for the state tournament each year.
He has retired from teaching AP Calculus, directing athletics and from coaching a variety of sports.