Parrish has signed a four year contract with a base salary of $350,000 with additional income available through academic and performance incentives, according to Collins. Parrish is the first Ball State assistant coach to be promoted to head coach since Wave Myers went from assistant coach to head coach prior to the 1968 season.
Parrish was Ball State's quarterbacks coach in 2005 and promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2006. This season he was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to the top assistant coach in the nation. Parrish engineered a Ball State offense which has helped the Cardinals to a 12-1 record, an 8-0 Mid-American Conference mark, the MAC West Division Championship and the first back-to-back bowl games in school history. Ball State's offense ranks 6th in the nation in passing efficiency, 11th in total offense, 17th in scoring offense, 21st in passing offense and 27th in rushing offense.
Parrish is in his 38th year as a football coach. Prior to coming to Ball State, he spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2002, he tutored starting quarterback Brad Johnson, who led Tampa Bay to a 12-4 regular-season record and the first Super Bowl Championship in the franchise's history. Parrish spent six years on the staff at the University of Michigan, where he worked with former Ball State head coach Brady Hoke. He was the quarterbacks coach each year at Michigan plus was the team's offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001. Parrish helped the Wolverines to a 1997 berth in the Rose Bowl and the school's 11th national championship. He tutored quarterbacks Brian Griese and Tom Brady at Michigan. Parrish has 10 years of head coaching experience in the collegiate ranks and owns a 57-41-3 overall record. He served as the head coach at Wabash College from 1978-82, at Marshall from 1983-85 and at Kansas State from 1986-88.
"We are extremely excited Coach Parrish has agreed to become the head football coach at Ball State," says Collins. "He has been very instrumental to our program's success, and we look for that to continue as we move forward. The process to find our new head coach was done in a timely fashion, but our first and foremost concern was to do what was best for the student-athletes in the Ball State football program. Change is always difficult, and even more so for young adults. We talked to a number of people for a variety of reasons, and in the end we determined Coach Parrish was the right person to lead our football program."
Under the guidance of Parrish, Ball State's offense passed for a school record 3,704 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2007, breaking the previous marks of 3,112 yards and 27 TDs set in 2006. In 2005, Parrish helped quarterback Joey Lynch throw for a then school record 18 touchdown passes and throw for 1,982 yards, which ranked as the third highest single-season total in Ball State annals.
Parrish and his wife, the former Ruth Purdy, have one son, Andrew, and one daughter, Libby. Parrish is a 1964 graduate of Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights, Ohio. He earned his bachelor's degree from Heidelberg in 1969, where he played defensive back from 1965-68.