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Bostick built Parkview into athletic power

File Photo

File Photo

As you drive down Cole Road toward Parkview High School, the right side of the street is filled with signs.

Every few feet there's a sign proclaiming a state championship from football to wrestling to soccer.

Karl Bostick was the man behind those titles.

"As you drive through there all those memories of state championship games, it's truly amazing," Bostick said.

The former Parkview athletic director built the Lilburn school into an athletic power during his 24-year tenure. Parkview won 44 state championships under Bostick as AD, including 10 when the was the cross country and soccer coach.

The 62-year-old retired educator will be inducted into the Gwinnett Sports Hall of Fame at at Coolray Field on Saturday.

"I'm extremely honored. It's something you never think would ever happen," Bostick said. "To be in a class and look at the people inducted, it's very special."

Bostick took a teaching and coaching job at Parkview in 1981. The school was only five years old at the time and had won one state title in girls tennis. By Bostick's fourth year, he led the boys cross country team to a state championship and then another title the following year. By 1994, the school had won nine state titles and seven were by Bostick coached teams.

"When I started, I was the only one winning state titles in cross country and soccer," Bostick said. "Then Rick Creed showed up and was very successful with swimming. From there it snowballed. Once football won, it took off in all directions."

Creed led the boys swimming team to state in 1995, baseball followed the next year and the football program got its first title in 1997.

"It was a snowball affect," Bostick said. "As one of them won state, coaches pushed to keep winning."

Over the next 11 years, Parkview won 30 state championships in 11 different boys and girls sports.

"I hate to say it was taken for granted because there was so many, but when you look at other schools, we were very successful," Bostick said.

Much of the program's success hinged on Bostick, who became AD in 1984. He hired Creed, promoted Cecil Flowe to head football coach and hired former player Mark Albertus in girls soccer.

"I never really felt that (pressure to succeed)," Bostick said. "I always felt when you hired a coach, one of the most important things was they liked to work with kids and were morally and ethically sound. But next was they hated to lose. We had a lot of coaches like that."

Bostick also had his own success as a coach. He led the boys cross country team to five team titles and four runner-up finishes. The program was consistently ranked in the top 20 in the country.

He was just as successful in soccer, leading the boys to eight state finals appearances and winning five championships. The program had a 57-game unbeaten streak from 1993-95, which tied a Georgia record. He coached four future MLS players, including World Cup player Josh Wolfe. He also coached future NFL kicker Brett Conway. Bostick compiled a 302-60-25 record, which featured eight teams ranked in the top 20 nationally.

"To have coached there back when Parkview was taking off, I was in the perfect place at the perfect time," Bostick said. "To have gone through that era is pretty special."

Parkview's athletic success was recognized nationally when Sports Illustrated ranked it the No. 7 program in the country in 2005. Parkview won the state's Director Cup in 2003 and 2005.

Since his retirement from Parkview in 2008, Bostick has become an avid traveler. He makes a yearly trip to Europe with his wife Mary. He also spends much of his time with his granddaughters. He'll occasionally stop by Parkview to say hello to some of his former co-workers or will catch a football or soccer game at the field that now bears his name.

As he drives down Cole Road, those signs honoring the championship teams bring back old memories. Like the time he won state in boys soccer the same night as prom. Or the time Parkview hosted its first football state championship game. Those memories are the biggest thing he cherishes from his time at Parkview.

"It's not about winning state championships. It's the stories that go with it," Bostick said.