Alvin Parker Alvin Parker, PhD, will be entering his third season at the helm of the football program at Virginia Union University.
Parker hoists an 11-3 CIAA record after two seasons, and 15-5 overall. Parker guided the 2019 Panthers to their first ever national ranking in the AFCA poll after being ranked 25th during week seven of the season, this after earning a top 25 ranking from Lindy’s magazine in the pre-season poll.
In his second season directing the program, Parker started the season off leading the program to a victory over FCS/Big South opponent Hampton University 36-17.
The impact he has had on the program in such a short time has been considerable. Following the spring 2020 semester, 47 football student athletes obtained above a 3.0 GPA, all of this culminated with a football student athlete being named the universities co-valedictorian (Emmanuel Antwi).
Parker coached the 2019 CIAA Special Teams player of the year Jefferson Souza. Souza was also named the Don Hansen Super region two Special Teams player of the year. He developed Khalid Morris who lead the league in passing yards per game and was also tied for first in passing TD’s. 2019 also saw Charles Hall lead the nation (NCAA) in yards per catch (25.9).
In June 2019, Parker was named the President of the CIAA Coaches association.
In his inaugural season as the head coach of the Panthers, Parker posted the best record of a first-year coach at VUU with an 8-2 overall mark. Recognized as one of the most gifted offensive football minds during his heralded career as an assistant coach, the Panthers had one of their most successful seasons in 2018.
Virginia Union ranked #1 in several categories in the CIAA including scoring offense (5th NCAA-45.2ppg), scoring defense (20th NCAA-18.9ppg) and rush offense (15 NCAA-253.3ypg). The Panthers also finished first in the league in sacks allowed, which was good for eighth in the NCAA.
They topped the nation in blocked kicks and set school records for rushing yards in a game (494 vs Lincoln) along with total and rushing touchdowns with twelve and nine in a single game, respectively.
A native of Washington, DC, and alumnus of Virginia Union, Parker was introduced as the 27th head coach in school history on December 18, 2017. During his introductory press conference, he spoke in depth about his love for his alma mater.
“There aren’t enough words to express what it means to be here, at a place I love, the one that embraced me as a young man and helped guide me into adulthood,” said Dr. Parker. “This is my dream job and I am excited to build on the legacy of this storied program.”
Dr. Parker’s has a philosophy of an aggressive tempo offense, and is also known widely for being a committed recruiter. He spent time on Lombardy Street as offensive coordinator and running backs coach for five successful seasons (1999-2003) which saw the Panthers win 38 games and advance to the three CIAA title games in four years (2000, 2001, 2003). During the first run as a coach at his alma mater, Parker called signals alongside his collegiate coach and mentor Willard Bailey a CIAA Hall of Famer and the conferences all-time winningest coach.
“I was always told that what Union makes, the world takes. We will embrace our position as the front porch of the University,” says Parker.
Over his previous stint on the Union staff, the Panthers won three CIAA Eastern Division crowns, captured the (2001) CIAA title and played in the 2001 Pioneer Bowl. Dr. Parker coached André Braxton, the CIAA’s all-time leading rusher and single season touchdown record holder, who would go on to be named the recipient of the (2000) Alonzo "Jake" Gaither Award as the top HBCU player in the nation, Braxton was an All-CIAA honoree all four years at VUU and named Player of the Year in 2000
“Dr. Parker won CIAA championships here at VUU as a player and later as an assistant coach under Willard Bailey,” said Virginia Union Athletic Director Joe Taylor. “He also won CIAA championships as the Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Elizabeth City State University. While experiencing success on the field, he has earned his undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. An accomplishment that few football coaches in America have obtained.”
Before his successes as a coach and an academician, Parker was a standout student-athlete during his playing days at VUU. He earned offensive MVP honors in 1996 and 1998, still ranks in the top ten amongst the Panther greats in single season touchdowns scored and is the Gold Bowl record holder for the longest TD — a 79-yard reception.
His dedication and success as one of the nation’s top assistants has not gone unnoticed as he was named a finalist for the AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year Award every year from 2013-2016.
Dr. Parker is very familiar with the landscape of the CIAA as he enjoyed successful stints at Saint Augustine’s University and at Elizabeth City (NC) State University. He served as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at SAU for two season and helped orchestrate one of the biggest turnarounds in school history. The Falcons went from last in the CIAA in total offense (200.3 ypg) to putting up 335.5 yards per game good for 6th in the conference, improved their scoring average to 25.5ppg (18.1) and improved their overall touchdown output by +10 with 34 on the year.
Most significantly, the Falcons went from the bottom of the CIAA South, to a tie for first place in the division, just one game away from their first conference title appearance.
During his 13 years at ECSU, his offense stood out as one of the most prolific in all of NCAA Division II. Under his guidance the Vikings had 4 CIAA Title game appearances, 2 NCAA Playoff appearances, and 2 Pioneer bowl appearances. ECSU was crowned the 2012 Pioneer Bowl Champions with a 28-13 victory over SIAC power Tuskegee University in Columbus, Georgia.
During an eight-year span at ECSU (2006-2014), the Vikings were a whopping 48-15 in conference play and averaged over 30 points per game in CIAA contests. From 2010-2015 the Vikings were one of two teams to average over 30 points and over 400 yards per game.
The 2011 season was a historical one for ECSU as the Vikings were one of ten teams nationally who rushed for 36 touchdowns or more on the season. The Vikings potent rushing attack was led by tailback Daront’e McNeill who was named the 2011 CIAA Player of the Year
The previous year, Parker’s offense finished first in sacks against, second in pass completion percentage, total offense, and rushing offense. The "multiple-attack" offense averaged 194 YPG rushing on the way to setting the school record. The Viking's offense again took up more space in the record books when in his senior season McNeill, finished seventh in the nation in rushing became ECSU's single season rushing leader with 1321 yards. That year three ECSU runners averaged more than five yards per carry and a total of six offensive players received post-season honors.
In 2009, the Vikings tied for first in the CIAA Eastern Division. The offense finished 15th in the nation in scoring offense averaging 35 PPG. ECSU rushed for nearly 30 TD's which was amongst the highest in the Conference. Six members of the Viking's offense received post-season honors.
In 2008, ECSU won the CIAA Eastern Division title averaging 32 PPG. Senior quarterback Curtis Rich led the conference in all passing categories on his way to being named 2008 Offensive Player of the Year. Wide receiver Dexter Manley led the conference in all major receiving categories and was also listed in the top 5 nationally.
In 2007, the Vikings had a 2nd place finish in the CIAA Eastern Division.
The Vikings’ breakout season came in 2006 where ECSU’s offense finished second in scoring and in total offense in route to the CIAA championship game. Additionally, the Viking offense had a record-breaking year which saw 5 offensive players being recognized as First Team All-Conference. Sophomore Curtis Rich had one of the best seasons of any quarterback under Parker's guidance; he completed 52% of his passes and threw 21 touchdowns during the regular season. By the end of the season, Parker had taken an offensive line that featured 3 new starters and propelled it into one of the top units in the country. That offensive line featured All-American Ronnie McClary who blocked for the league's top reception leader Marvin Jackson, and the CIAA’s top scorer Chris Carter. Both Jackson and Carter ranked in the top for All-Receiving Categories.
Dr. Parker has coached 3 NFL players; Pete Hunter (Seattle Seahawks), James Atkins (San Francisco 49er's) and Jerome Leslie (Philadelphia Eagles) and nearly 150 All-Conference players, and 10 All-Americans
Parker received his M.S. degree in Sport Leadership/Athletic Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his B.S. degree in Mass Communication/Journalism from Virginia Union University. He obtained his Doctorate in Education/Sport Management from Northcentral University in 2017.
Off the field, Parker is an advocate for community development; in 2003 he started HOME TEAM Foundation INC, a non-profit organization geared towards helping underprivileged youth both athletically and academically. Parker is also the author of the book “Stronger than Pride”.
Parker and his wife LaToya reside in Richmond. He is the proud father of a son Alan and daughter Lani.
2019 marked Marcus Hilliard’s second season as the Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line coach at Virginia Union University.
A veteran coach of the CIAA, it didn’t take long for Hilliard to put his stamp on the program at VUU. In his first season (2018) the Panthers went 8-2 and finished the season ranked eighth in the region, just narrowly missing the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Under his guidance, the Panthers boasted the #1 scoring defense in the CIAA which ranked 20th in the nation.
In two seasons at VUU, he has coached five All-CIAA performers to both first and second team honors.
After his first season at Union he was recognized as the AFCA National Division II Assistant Coach of the Year. In the summer of 2019 he was selected to the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Internship with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hilliard spent the entire NFL Training Camp learning from legendary Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his staff and was involved in day-to-day coaching and player development.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Hilliard was a part of a successful stint on the football staff at Elizabeth City State University (NC). He spent 14 seasons on the sidelines at ECSU, the last eight as the Defensive Coordinator. During his tenure as coordinator for the Vikings’ defense, Coach Hilliard produced some of the most decorated student-athletes in Division II most notably Malcolm Jenkins, Brad Davis and Nigel Rios.
In his first year with the reigns as the Defensive Coordinator, Jenkins blossomed into one of the most dominant lineman in the country finishing the season second in NCAA Division II in sacks. He was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award (Division II’s Best Lineman), was named the to the 2010 Daktronics All-American Team (ECSU’s first honoree in six years), was voted CIAA Defensive Player of the Year and participated in the Cactus Bowl, the top Division II All-Star Game.
Davis also garnered a considerable amount of success under Hilliard’s guidance. He was named the first AFCA All-American in school history, was two-time All-CIAA Defensive First Team honoree and was tabbed as the defensive MVP of the 2012 CIAA Championship Game.
Rios also enjoyed a celebrated career in four years under Hilliard’s coaching. He was named to the All-Rookie team in 2010 and then went on to be named to the All-CIAA Defensive First Team for three consecutive seasons.
Davis and Rios led defensive units for ECSU that advanced to two CIAA title games, earned an NCAA Playoff berth and were crowned 2013 Pioneer Bowl Champions with a 28-13 victory over SIAC power Tuskegee University in Columbus, Georgia.
Over his career as the Defensive Coordinator for ECSU, Coach Hilliard has produced a combined 16 All-CIAA First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention performers.
Hilliard moved up in the ranks at ECSU, coaching the Mighty Vikings' linebackers for two seasons (2004-2005) and was defensive line coach from 2006-2009 guiding the careers of All-CIAA standouts Greg Moore, Emanuel Plummer and Maceo Thomas.
Hilliard was a four-year letterman for the Vikings where he was the leading tackler for the 5th ranked defense in Division II during the 2002 season. He was also a member of the 2001 All-CIAA Defensive First Team, was a two-time Thomas A. Caldwell recipient for excellence in football (2001-2002) and received the Pepsi-Cola Most Outstanding Football Award in 2003.
In 2004 Hilliard joined the ECSU staff and became an intricate part of the heralded "Blue Swarm" defense. In 2006 the "Blue Swarm" shut out four opponents and held six opponents to seven points or less. The Vikings were also ranked 5th in the nation in scoring defense, 2nd in takeaways, 5th in interceptions and 4th in fumbles recovered. That season was one for the history books as ECSU set a new mark for wins (9-3).
During the 2007 season, his defense gave up only 234 yards per game which was good for 4th nationally in total defense. In 2011 Hilliard’s defensive unit finished 14th in the nation in total defense. He has been a part of four CIAA championship games (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012) and four post season appearances.
Hilliard is a life learner who is always looking to increase his knowledge and exposure. In May 2010, he was among 25 participants in the country chosen to participate in the NCAA Men's Football Coaches Academy. This program initiated by the NCAA, was developed to prepare minority coaches acquire head coaching positions.
On top of his coaching responsibilities and serving as a professor with a full course-load in the Department of Health and Physical Education at ECSU, Hilliard was very active with several community service programs including the ECSU Passing Camp, "Little Viking" Day Football Camp and the Viking Football mentoring program. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), CIAA Football Coaches Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
A native of Goldsboro, NC, Hilliard obtained holds a B.A. degree in History from Elizabeth City State in 2004 and went on to earn his M.S. degree in Sport Management from the United States Sports Academy in 2007.
Edward Pointer returns to his alma mater after spending the last two seasons at Saint Augustine’s University, the last as their Defensive Coordinator. Under Coach Pointer’s guidance the falcons’ defense finished in the top 3 in the CIAA in points per game in conference, tied for 1st place with 31 sacks, and placed multiple players on the all-conference team.
Coach Pointer is no stranger to the VUU sidelines. This is his third stint at VUU. He spent three seasons as the linebacker coach, two as the Defensive Coordinator at VUU (2008-2010) and he also spent six seasons at VUU as the linebackers coach at VUU (1998-2003), during which time the Panthers won the CIAA Championship in 2001. Prior to that, Coach Pointer spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Elizabeth City State University (2005-2007). During his coaching career, he has coached 14 All-CIAA players, two All-Americans, and two NFL players. In addition, he has coached in four CIAA championship games (2000, ’01, ’03, and ’06).
Coach Pointer is a native of Richmond, VA, native who played linebacker for Virginia Union University in the 1994-97 seasons. At the conclusion of his college career, he signed to play for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes. His professional football career was cut short due to a leg injury.
In his spare time he enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with his daughter. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Information Systems from VUU in 2000.
Mike Morita enters his second year as Offensive Line Coach at Virginia Union University. Last year, as Run Game Coordinator, the Panthers’ offense averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 31.7 points per game.
Morita came to Virginia Union from Vanderbilt University where he spent three seasons as an offensive quality control coach. His first two years he assisted with an offensive line that saw two of its members become starters for NFL teams this past season. His final season Morita moved to Tight Ends and produced a freshman All-SEC TE in Jared Pinkney.
Prior to his time at Vanderbilt, Morita spent eight years under the legendary Bob Ford at the University at Albany (NY). During the final seven, which he spent as offensive line coach, the Great Danes were Northeast Conference Champions four times (2007, 2008, 2011 & 2012), and produced the top three rushers in school history. Morita’s lines produced three All-Americans and All-Conference members.
Morita also has college experience as an offensive coordinator at Shaw University (2004-05), tight ends coach at Bucknell University (2000-03), and offensive line coach at Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College (2003).
Morita earned a bachelor's in elementary education from Idaho State University where he played running back, and master's in education from Bucknell University. He is married to the former Ashley DeThorne and has two daughters, Madison and Ayla.
Nigel Rios is in his first season on the Virginia Union University football staff. He will serve as the Secondary Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.
Rios is very familiar with the CIAA landscape as both a coach and a student-athlete. Last season he served as the Secondary Coach and Special Teams Coordinator at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh where he helped guide the Falcons to a 5-2 conference mark which tied for first in the Southern Division.
Under Rios’ leadership the Falcons, behind All-CIAA Honorable Mention punter Jake Ford, led the CIAA in net punting and ranked second in punting average. SAU also ranked 3rd and 4th in the conference, respectively in punt return defense and kickoff return defense and first in interception return yardage (7 for 151 yards).
Prior to his stint with the Falcons, Rios spent a season as an assistant at Howard University in his hometown Washington, DC. He spent the 2016 campaign coordinating practices, meetings, film analysis and game planning while teaching techniques and fundamentals for the Bison. He also assisted the academic advisor with monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes.
From 2010-2014 Rios was a cornerstone on some of the best teams to come out of Elizabeth City State University (NC), where he was recruited by (then Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator) Dr. Alvin Parker and played under current VUU Defensive Coordinator Marcus Hilliard. During a storied career, Rios amassed 183.5 tackles, 8 interceptions and 10 blocked kicks in 41 games for the Vikings. He was named to the All-Rookie team in 2010 and then went on to be named to the All-CIAA Defensive First Team for three consecutive seasons. Over that span the Vikings advanced to two CIAA title games, earned an NCAA Playoff berth and were crowned 2013 Pioneer Bowl Champions with a 28-13 victory over SIAC power Tuskegee University in Columbus, Georgia. His junior season (2012) he led the Vikings in tackles with 82 which ranked 9th in the CIAA.
During his high school days, Rios was a standout performer at H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, DC where he was the team’s leading receiver and returner and was a member of the 2008 DCIAA Turkey Bowl Champions.
A fitness enthusiast, Rios is the owner of a food prep company that helps individuals reach their goals through proper nutrition and dietary support. Some of his clients have included Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins), Ken Crawley (New Orleans Saints), Ronald Darby (Philadelphia Eagles), and Tavon Young (Baltimore Ravens). He has also served as the Defensive Backs instructor for the PrimeXample Skills Academy under Troy Vincent (NFL's Head of Football Operations) and Roman Morris
Rios graduated with a 3.29 GPA and honors from the school of Business and obtained a B.S. in Administration with a concentration in Management from Elizabeth City State in 2014.
He is the proud father of a daughter Kylie and got engaged to high school sweetheart Jada Carter in November of 2017.
Monterio Hand enters his first year as the Wide Receiver s Coach at Virginia Union University. Hand was previously at Elizabeth City State for 13 years as a Wide Receiver coach, Special Teams Coach and Recruiting Coordinator.A native of Winton NC. Hand Played at ECSU from 1998_2001. Hand received All Conference recognition as well as Vikings Offensive MVP. Hand also led the Conference in receptions. Hand coached several All Conference players such as Chris Carter, Billy Wiggins, Marvin Jackson(2006). Dexter Manley and Reggie Smith(2009). Keith Strickland TE s Karvin Gwaltney in (2009,2010). Victor Tabbs (2014,2015,2016). Hand was apart of five Division Championships and Coached in Four Conference Championships. Two bowl games and NCAA Divison II playoffs games. Hand is always looking for ways to make his players better on and off the field. Coach Hand is a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).Hand is also a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity Inc. Hand has a B.S degree in Criminal Justice from Elizabeth City State University.
Coach Diego Ryland a US Army Retiree is in his second season as Running Backs Coach at Virginia Union University. This past season he helped the top rushing offense in the CIAA led by All-American running back Tabyus Taylor. The running attack led the top offense in the CIAA finish with an 8-2 record. The offensive average a conference leading 45.2 points, 450.6 total yards and 253.3 rushing yards a game. He coached, mentored and trained 13 running backs and fullbacks to include an All-American/All- Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) selectee and NCAA’s Division 2 football leader in All-Purpose yards for 2018 football season. Taylor, also led the CIAA in total All-Purpose, rushing yards and scoring offense while being VUU's top receiver for most of the 2018 football season.
Prior to coming to Virginia Union University, Ryland was an Assistant Coach (Running Backs) at Hampton University under Coach Connell Maynor. At Hampton University he mentored All-MEAC running back Yahkee Johnson formerly of LC Bird High School here in Richmond. Ryland obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy, and he is currently in-pursuit of his Masters in Sports Administration from United States Sports Academy.
Ryland has 4 children Niambi, Diego, Kyree and Ryan.
Coach Hampton is returning to Virginia Union for his second stint, first as a coach. Coach Hampton earned an opportunity to coach after completing his final season at Virginia Union by the Hall of Fame Coach Willard Bailey. In his time working alongside Coach Bailey, Coach Hampton has been a part of coaching staffs that developed football teams from the ground up, seeing Saint Paul’s College and Virginia University of Lynchburg send their first student-athletes in school history to be selected to play in the NFL. Coach Hampton started as a position coach working with the offensive line and tight ends where he mentored several players who earned ALL-CIAA, USCAA-All American, as well as Senior Bowl selections. Coach Hampton’s garners 14 years of coach experience as a run game coordinator, offensive coordinator and Associate Head Coach while working with Willard Bailey.
As a player at Virginia Union Coach Hampton earned All-CIAA selection in his single year when he transferred in as a senior under Coach Parker who was the offensive coordinator. Coach Hampton earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Coach Hampton is married to Dr. Victoria Hampton who is also a graduate of Virginia Union with two children Roderick III (12) and Raven (8).