George Wythe High School principal Riddick Parker, who was also a member of the New England Patriots team that won the 2001 Super Bowl, died unexpectedly on Friday while riding his bicycle.
Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras confirmed Parker’s death in a Friday morning tweet.
“I’m absolutely devastated to share that Riddick Parker, Principal of George Wythe HS, has passed away,” Kamras wrote.
“Mr. Parker gave his FULL heart & soul to the students of Wythe and will be dearly missed. Details are forthcoming on a memorial service. Please keep his family in your prayers.”
I’m absolutely devastated to share that Riddick Parker, Principal of George Wythe HS, has passed away. Mr. Parker gave his FULL heart & soul to the students of Wythe and will be dearly missed. Details are forthcoming on a memorial service. Please keep his family in your prayers.
— Jason Kamras (@JasonKamras) August 19, 2022
“Mr. Riddick T. Parker, Jr. age 49, departed this earthly life on Friday, August 19, 2022 at his home in Chesterfield, VA,” according to the obituary.
Parker’s cause of death has not been released.
“The circumstances surrounding his death have also not yet been disclosed,” CBS 6 added.
We're devastated to share the news of the loss of George Wythe HS Principal Riddick Parker, who passed away unexpectedly this morning while bicycling. Principal Parker was a beloved member of the RPS family who gave his full heart and soul to his students, staff, and families. pic.twitter.com/xR0cI0Iv7l
— Richmond Public Schools (@RPS_Schools) August 19, 2022
From CBS 6:
CBS 6 featured Parker in a 2019 Building Better Minds report where he related his school leadership style to his football past.
“Game day is a testing day. So, when we get down to the nine-week assessments, we get down to SOL assessments, to us, that’s our Super Bowl,” then the assistant principal at Armstrong High School in Richmond said. “Teaching is coaching. You’re looking at when you’re doing wrong, what you can improve upon and then putting together a game plan in place to make sure that happens.”
Parker played defensive tackle for seven seasons in the NFL.
The Emporia, Virginia native and University of North Carolina student played for the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens from 1997 to 2003.
NBC12 Richmond aired this video report: