By Wes Kerr
A decade after his graduation from Newberry College, Ron Parker will have his name etched alongside his alma mater’s greatest. The former Beaufort High School standout and longtime Kansas City Chiefs starter was selected to the Newberry Athletics Hall of Fame on Monday, joining a class of four former Wolves.
Nicknamed “The Ghost” due to his speedy and stealthy play at defensive back, Parker completed a legendary career for the Division II program, leading his team with six interceptions during his junior year before picking off five more passes the following season. He racked up numerous distinctions during his collegiate tenure, including the South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 along with Division II All-America honors in 2009 and 2010.
Despite going undrafted in 2011, Parker went on to make his NFL debut that same year in Oakland. After bouncing between the practice squad and the active roster with the Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Carolina Panthers, the Ghost enjoyed a successful six-year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, starting 77 games from 2013 to 2018 while racking up 342 solo tackles, eight sacks, and 11 interceptions, including a pick-six against Cincinnati in 2018. On Jan. 6, 2020, Parker announced his retirement, concluding an inspirational story of hard work and resilience.
Parker will be recognized in a ceremony at Newberry College on September 11 and will also be honored that night at the Wolves’ football game against North Greenville. He will be joined in this year’s class by James Conrad (baseball), Stan Elrod (baseball and basketball), and Margret Hewett Greene (soccer).