All Hanford High coach Tom Parrish did was outwork everybody to construct one of the most powerful girls basketball dynasties the Central Section has ever known — or will know.
Then the Bullpups’ coach got emotional, caught up in the lowest moment of his 197-47, eight-year career, and dropped a comment that has actually become national news (see Yahoo sports).
Parrish followed a section semifinal 57-39 loss at Clovis West last week Tuesday by saying he wouldn’t go to the Southern California Regionals even if the team got selected.
He would cool in the next couple days and change his mind, but, ultimately, the word didn’t get to Jim Crichlow, and the section commissioner didn’t pitch the recently state-ranked Bullpups in Sunday’s regional seeding.
It’s a shame for Parrish, the team, school and community because lost in the confusion was the fact everybody wanted to extend what had been a seven-year Hanford run in the regionals.
No sense in further detailing now a convoluted sequence of exchanges between Parrish, school athletic director Beau Hill and Crichlow that never found its preferred destination — the regionals for a team that may have been seeded as high as No. 5 in the 15-team Division I bracket.
Parrish is getting torched after what will likely be his final game. And, understand, he’s long planned to check out after this season, anyway.
This is so unfortunate because, in 36 years at The Bee, I haven’t observed a coach — in any sport, boys or girls — who did a better job of collecting an ethnically diverse group on an annual basis and molding them into champions.
Further, the ranch foreman and self-taught coach accomplished this by achieving every coach’s ultimate goal — maximum performance from his players through a high standard of work ethic.
Hopefully, at the end of the day, when the pot cools, this is how Tom Parrish will be remembered.