What better way to fill a coaching position than with a legend.
Paul Parpet Sr., inducted into the halls of fame of both the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association primarily due to his leadership at Addison Trail, has been officially announced as the new varsity football coach at Lisle Community High School. Parpet succeeds Dan Sanko, who resigned after completing his 17th season with the Interstate Eight Conference affiliate last fall.
Parpet had served as an assistant for Downers Grove North coach John Wander the past four seasons after retiring in 2010 from Addison Trail -- where his son, Paul Jr., took over the program. The elder Parpet remains as an assistant baseball coach at Downers Grove South.
A Naperville resident, as enthusiastic and positive as anyone, Parpet looks forward to meeting with Lisle players and football staff after next week's spring break period.
"I feel that I've got a lot left to give," he said.
"When this job came up it was very appealing to me because I've always wanted to coach in a smaller setting sometime in my career, and here it is right here in my back yard. And I'm very honored they trust me enough to give me an opportunity to do that," he said.
Parpet earned a record of 158-122 in 28 seasons at Addison Trail. His Blazers reached the playoffs 11 times with runner-up Class 6A finishes in 1984 and 1998.
"He brings a world of experience and expertise to our football program," Lisle athletic director Dan Dillard stated in a news release.
"He is described by everyone as a student-centered coach that students love to play for and enjoy being around. His enthusiasm and energy are apparent in all he does and I am excited about the impact he can have on the program," added Dillard, who will be inducted into the IHSFCA Hall of Fame himself in April.
At Addison Trail, Parpet's last playoff season came in 2008 when the Blazers reached the second round in Class 7A at 8-2. At Downers North, mainly assisting with the defensive line, quarterbacks and special teams, he helped the Trojans reach the 7A quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.
Parpet will head a Lisle program that last made the playoffs in 2009 in Class 3A, though the Lions went 5-4 in 2012 and failed to qualify due to the playoff-point tiebreaker. Lisle went 4-5 last season.
Parpet stated his emphasis as getting his players to provide "quality, consistent performances" while enjoying themselves.
"We want to make sure we're in a good frame of mind to compete all the time -- and we play the game, not the score. We compete," he said.
"I am excited about this hire," Dillard said.
"I'm very proud to be selected as Lisle's football coach," he said. "I think they're playing in a good conference, they've got an outstanding community, the community in Lisle is really neat. I'm looking forward to going in there and going to work."