The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 19, 2012

Lance Parnell named coach at Cassville

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Lance Parnell insisted on Tuesday that he has too much coaching experience to get uptight or nervous about taking the football reins from highly successful David Large at Cassville High School.

“I’m very excited, however,” said Parnell, 37.

The 2013 season will be No. 16 for Parnell at Cassville. He joined the Wildcats — Bret Gosch was looking for an assistant — in the fall of 1998. He’s been the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator for 11 years.

Don’t expect a lot of changes in the program, Parnell indicated.

“Coach Large did an outstanding job,” Parnell said. “He gave me freedom (as the defensive coordinator). The program becomes your philosophy when you’ve been a part of something for that many years.

“I’m blessed. I have a great staff returning,” said Parnell, who’ll remain the defensive coordinator. “We are looking for one assistant (to replace Large).”

Aurora product Clay Weldy, installed by Large as the offensive coordinator, will continue in that capacity, Parnell said.

Jay Rogers, Large’s close friend from Fort Scott who came with him to Cassville, will continue working with the offensive line.

Areas of expertise for Kyle Wood and Robbie Artherton are defensive secondary and defensive line, respectively. Danny Powers, the multisport standout from Carl Junction, has wide receivers.

Parnell also said he’s “blessed at home” with wife Suzy — formerly Hall of Hurley, Mo. — and three daughters. “I’m outnumbered big-time,” he said with a laugh.

Their girls are Courtney, 17 (a senior at Cassville); fifth-grader Kennedy, 11, and third-grader Landrey, 8. Suzy is an elementary teacher.

There’s a lot of northwest Arkansas and Razorback in Parnell. He was born in Fayetteville, his parents Linda and Larry are retired career educators in Prairie Grove and his dad was his high school coach at West Fork.

Dad, who also coached in Fayetteville, Prairie Grove and Lincoln, and son are University of Arkansas graduates.

Lance Parnell spent one season at Rogers before lured to Cassville by Gosch.

“I worked under Charlie Cooper at Rogers,” said Parnell, who has a master’s degree from U of A. “I was the offensive coordinator for the sophomores and also worked with the varsity quarterbacks. It was a great experience for a first-year coach.”