Bobby Parrish to step down as Cottage Hill’s head football coach; most well known for success at Williamson with Jamarcus Russell
By ARTHUR L. MACK
Bobby Parrish is resigning as Cottage Hill Christian Academy’s head football coach effective at the end of the school year.
“Cottage Hill has been great to me,” said Parrish, who has been an assistant or head coach for 32 seasons and coached two future NFL first-round draft picks, Jamarcus Russell and Nick Fairley, at Williamson. “This is something I’ve been contemplating for a minute and I tried to weigh the pros and cons after being away from my family for so long. You’ve got to know when to say when and I figured this was the best time to leave.”
Parrish said CHCA head of school Chris Brazell supported his decision.
“He told me when I came on (at Cottage Hill), the job was mine as long as I was here,” Parrish said. “One of the big reasons I stepped down was to spend more time with my family and he understood about me going to the next phase of my life.”
Parrish was 8-11 in two years with the Warriors, who have missed the playoffs in 13 of the last 15 seasons. Before then, Parrish was 96-57 in 13 seasons at Williamson and his first Lions team went to the state finals in 1999 and featured freshman quarterback Russell, who went on to become the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He also coached defensive lineman Fairley, who went on to star at Auburn and was a first-round NFL draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 2011.
Parrish’s last team at CHCA finished 5-5 and included major college signees Trent Thomas (South Alabama), Tyler Thomas (UAB) and Kelvon McBride (North Carolina State).
Parrish was a standout quarterback at Theodore High and went on to play defensive back at Alcorn State.
Parrish started his coaching career at Theodore as an assistant coach and head basketball coach. In 1999, he succeeded the retiring Curtis Horton at Williamson and became the school’s all-time winningest coach.
Parrish’s best season there was in 2000, when the Lions finished a school-record 12-1 and lost in the semifinals to Benjamin Russell.