December 08, 2019
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Bangor boys basketball coach resigns after OUI arrest

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
In this file photo from January 2015, Bangor head coach Carl Parker watches his team compete at the Red Barry Gym in Bangor. Parker resigned from the post Tuesday after his arrest last weekend on an OUI charge.

Bangor High School boys varsity basketball coach Carl Parker has left that post in the aftermath of his arrest for operating under the influence of intoxicants over the weekend.

The move came on the same day Bangor was to play at Windham in a Class AA North quarterfinal game. Jon McAllian, the Rams’ junior varsity coach, was set to handle the coaching duties for that game.

“If you screw up, you’ve got to own it,” said Parker in a telephone conversation early Tuesday afternoon after he had issued a letter of resignation to school officials. “Obviously I feel awful, but again you’ve got to take ownership of the things that you do. I’ve always been that way.”

Parker said he was returning to his Bangor home from a Class AA North coaches meeting in Lewiston on Saturday and was northbound on Interstate 95 in Etna when he attempted to pass another vehicle.

“I had drank,” he said. “I went to pass a car and hit black ice and away I went.”

Parker’s car came to rest on its passenger side along the side of the highway and he subsequently was taken into custody by the Maine State Police.

Parker said he was administered a blood-alcohol test in Bangor but did not pass.

The State Police confirmed Tuesday that Parker was arrested. Details about the circumstances of Parker’s arrest and his blood-alcohol level were not available Tuesday because the trooper was off duty until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

It is illegal in Maine to operate a vehicle if a person’s blood alcohol level is above .08 percent.

If convicted, Parker faces a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory 150-day license suspension. If his blood-alcohol level was .15 percent or above, he also must serve 48 hours in jail.

Parker said he notified school officials of the incident soon after he returned home Saturday.

“He self-reported the information in a timely fashion, he knew it was a serious matter that we’d have to address,” said Bangor High School principal Paul Butler.

“We confirmed everything on a reasonable timeline and with a thorough approach and decided that we needed to relieve him of coaching responsibilities,” Butler added. “I think Carl recognized that and followed up with a written resignation.”

That school’s decision was reached late Monday.

“It’s on me,” Parker said. “It’s not on anyone else and I’m sorry for the position I put the administration in. I really am.”

Parker, a longtime Bangor resident, was in the third season of his second stint as boys varsity basketball coach at Bangor High School.

His most recent teams had improved each season, with the Rams going from 5-13 in 2015-16 to 8-10 last winter and 9-9 this season good for a fifth-place finish in Class AA North.

Parker previously coached Bangor for two seasons during the mid-1980s, when his teams compiled a 23-13 record and advanced to the 1985 Eastern Maine Class A semifinals before school administrators opted not to renew his contract over two incidents when he was issued technical fouls during the 1984-85 season.

Parker’s coaching resume included subsequent varsity stops at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, where he also served as athletic administrator.

He also was an assistant coach with the former MCI postgraduate program and head coach of Lee Academy’s postgraduate team.

Parker also has been well known in coaching circles for his contributions to the state’s AAU basketball community, being one of its founders in Maine in 1991.

Parker coached numerous teams to AAU national tournament appearances, highlighted by his 17-and-under squads that earned 11th-place finishes at the AAU 11th-Grade National Championships in both 2007 and 2014.

BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

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