Parnell tapped to lead Wildcats' football team

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
New Wildcat leader Chuck Nickle Photography Lance Parnell has been chosen to lead the Cassville Wildcats football team next season. Parnell has served the last 15 years as a Wildcat assistant coach.

Cassville administration didn't have to looks very far to finds its next head football coach.

Long-time assistant Lance Parnell, who also serves as the team's defensive coordinator was chosen to head the football team at Cassville High School.

"I'm extremely honored," said Parnell. "Cassville has become home for my family and I. To be chosen to lead the Wildcats is a great honor.

Parnell graduated from West Fort (Ark.) High School, and received his bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Upon graduation, he entered the high school coaching ranks in Rogers, Ark.

While at Rogers, Parnell worked one year with former Monett Athletic Director Alan Spencer.

"Alan had played high school ball at Webb City under Tom Gosch," said Parnell. "When Tom's son, Bret, was hired at Cassville, he needed an assistant coach. Tom called Spencer and asked for a recommendation and that is how I came to Cassville 15 years ago.
 Upon Bret's departure from Cassville, the Wildcats welcomed David Large into the fold as head coach.

"I owe a large debt of gratitude to Bret and David," said Parnell. "Bret gave me the start I needed, and David gave me the freedom to develop my style of coaching."

Parnell stated that he feels blessed to be taking over an elite program that Large established.

"I don't think there will be any major transition problems," said Parnell. "With six of our seven coaches returning and the fact the kids are familiar with us, it should be pretty smooth."

Parnell spent four years as offensive coordinator at Cassville and was Large's defensive coordinator for the past 11 seasons.

Parnell's defenses have played key roles in the success of the Cassville football program over the past decade, including state championships in 2008 and 2009.

"Things will pretty much remain the same," said Parnell. "We might throw in a couple of small wrinkles, but we don't want to get away from what has made our program successful."

Parnell stated that the seventh coaching position would eventually be filled. He was unsure of when that will occur.

He also plans to continue as the defensive coordinator, and Clay Weldy will remain as offensive coordinator.

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