The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 7, 2014

Parrish returns to his alma mater Baxter Springs as football coach

As far as Tim Parrish is concerned, he’s experiencing a dream come true.

Parrish, who graduated from Baxter Springs High School in 1996, was recently hired to teach math and be the head football coach at his alma mater.

“I always tell my students that I’m living the dream,” Parrish said. “Some people have to go to work. I get to go to school.

“It’s one of those things to where you could go back 20 years and ask me what I would want to do, and this would be it. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity to go back and coach at my school, and I’m going to fully embrace it.”

Parrish helped the Lions to a 9-2 record during his senior year in 1995. After high school, he went on to play college football at Coffeyville Community College and Missouri-Rolla before finishing his degree at Pittsburg State University. He has served as a high school assistant coach for Baxter Springs, Coffeyville and Bonner Springs, before working as an assistant at Galena during the 2006-12 seasons. Parrish worked with the linebackers and the offensive line.

“He knows the kids, and he knows a lot of the families because he lives here in Baxter,” Baxter Springs athletics director Roger Reynolds said. “He had some real good coaches that he worked under in Johnny Mallatt and Beau Sarwinski. Both of them told me he would do an excellent job. He’s very knowledgeable about the game.”

Parrish said the Lions’ base sets will be similar to Galena, which runs the wing-T offense and a 4-4 defense.

“You’re going to see a hybrid look of the success we’ve had at Galena,” Parrish said. “We’re going to have our own twist on things, but we’re going to be very similar. We’re going to run the wing-T offense, and we’re going to be prepared to throw when need be. We’re going to get kids involved. We’re not going to rely on a pocket passer or one great tailback. We’re going to spread the wealth.”

He will be taking over a program that finished 1-8 in 2013. Baxter Springs finished 2-25 during Donnie Bigby’s three years as head coach. The Lions haven’t had a winning record since going 5-4 in 2009.

“First of all, we have to get people excited again,” Parrish said. “After some bad years, I know some of the kids hang their heads a little bit.

“I don’t go half way. I go the whole way. Hopefully, that will be contagious. Coming from this school, I have a lot of enthusiasm and hopefully that will spread.”

Reynolds said Parrish is the right person for the job, because he’s dedicated to making the Lions a winner again.

“He and his wife own a home here in Baxter, so they’re here for the long haul,” Reynolds said. “He’s a Baxter kid. He cares a lot about our school. He’s real enthusiastic. He’ll bring a lot of work ethic to our kids.”

Parrish’s wife, Heather, is a math teacher at Baxter Springs Middle School. The couple have a 4-year-old son, Cole, and another child on the way.

“I want to be the person who gets to coach him when he’s in high school,” Parrish said of Cole. “Hopefully, we can get some tradition started here.”

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