By Amy Cutillo |Staff Writer|
Coyote baseball’s head coach, Don Parnell, has reached a milestone that may never be achieved here again at CSUSB. On March. 9, the Coyotes’ victory over the Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles was more than just the average everyday win.
In defeating the Golden Eagles, Parnell was able to achieve his 500th victory.
The Coyote’s helped to make this possible for Parnell, who has been the head coach for them for 21 years. They were able to defeat the Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles convincingly with a 13–4 win. Parnell is the only coach CSUSB has known since taking NCAA Division II status.
He is a 1980 graduate of NCAA Division III Redlands where he was a four-year letter winner. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Cal Poly Pomona under Hall of Fame coach John Scolinos according to csusbathletics.com
Parnell stressed that getting to this point is not only about being strong in the sport, but it is also about being strong in the mind. When asked about how he felt about winning 500 games, he shared that much of it had to do with dedication and durability.
“Many people come and go in the game of baseball, but the ability to stick around that long means something more,” said Parnell.
Along with his 500 wins, Parnell is also a part of the Fraternity of Coaches. He mentioned how although all of the wins are great, it more so indicates survivability than having a profession. According to the 21-year tenured head coach, it doesn’t take much but the love of baseball to keep him going.
“At times you get frustrated, and then you take a look around and you think, ‘I get to teach baseball for a living’,” said Parnell. “There’s a saying on my office wall that says, ‘Never forget this is the job you always wanted,’ and this is the job I have always wanted. That part of it is rewarding.”
True dedication is what clearly drives Parnell day in and day out on the diamond and is what fuels his drive, determination, and tremendous success.
Parnell also has an unrelenting desire to share his knowledge of and passion for the game with the players that suit up for him. “Wins aren’t that big of a deal, but everything that comes from having played that many games is all about passing on the love of baseball to other people,” Parnell said.
Not only has Parnell earned his 500th victory, but he is also proud to say that the team GPA is higher than the campus GPA and the graduation rate is in the 70th percentile, compared to the campus average being in the 50th percentile.
“It’s not just about the success in winning, but it has to do with their overall success. It’s about them getting degrees, being good men in society, being good father’s and having the discipline, pride and responsibility to take care of family.”
For Parnell’s players, success is definitely something they have been able to achieve while playing under the head coach. More than 30 of his players over the years have either been drafted by Major League Baseball teams or played professionally in independent leagues across the United States.
Not only does Parnell want to see his players succeed in life, but he also hopes that as a coach he can pass down to them true love and respect for the game of baseball. “It’s all about the love of the game and the all around respect for it,” said Parnell.
With his durability, his passion for the game, and the love and respect he has for his players, it comes of no surprise that Parnell has been able to accomplish what others can only dream of.
With the success his team has had so far this season, and with a few good years still under his belt, there is no telling how many victories Parnell will end up with when his impressive career finally comes to an end.
Photos by Amy Cutillo