Archive for Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Athletics director hired for Chieftains

Former UN-Kearney wrestler chosen as replacement for Coach DeWitt

June 12, 2002

The Tonganoxie school board hopes athletic experience on the college level will elevate the local high school program.

The school board approved Brandon Parker as athletics director in a special meeting last week, and then voted for Jeremy Goebel as the new high school wrestling coach at Monday's meeting.

Parker, who will have a part-time contract with the school, was the assistant volleyball and freshman boys basketball coach last school year. A 1997 University of Kansas graduate, he has also worked in several facets of the KU athletics department.

The McPherson native said he was eager to get the new athletic year started with a qualified coaching staff.

"We have stability, and even more importantly, quality," Parker said about Tonganoxie's coaches. "They're knowledgeable about the game."

Most of Goebel's wrestling knowledge comes as an athlete. He, too, comes from the college ranks. Goebel, originally from North Platte, Neb., was a three-year letterman at Nebraska-Kearney, an NCAA Division II program that competes against Fort Hays State in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. He graduated in May and was an assistant coach while student teaching at Wellington. Goebel, 24, helped coach two state champions at the 4A school.

"Being a part of that feeds off and hopefully that will benefit me down there and help me get a couple state champs down there," Goebel said about Tonganoxie.

Goebel looked at other schools, but Tonganoxie was the only program offering a head coaching position. And, he said he enjoyed coaching in the Sunflower State.

"I was a part of Kansas wrestling last year, and felt it was a great place to be," Goebel said.

Parker, meanwhile, has been in Kansas his entire life and brings with him a background not usually found at the high school level.

Parker earned a degree in sports administration. He was the account executive for the KU football team and created Terry's Team, named for former coach Terry Allen. That group was for underprivileged youth, with various businesses sponsoring them. He also directed two Late Night with Roy Williams. Those annual events included skits and practices for the KU men's and women's basketball teams.

Tonganoxie Superintendent Richard Erickson said Parker's administrative background would be useful at the high school level.

"The thing about Brandon is that with the experience he had at KU, I think he's going to offer a lot of things for our program," Erickson said.

When Parker arrived at KU, though, his intention was to seek a history degree and coach. Now, he hopes to follow through by earning an education degree in two years

"Coming to KU, I found other opportunities," he said. "Now, I've come full circle."

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