Coaching Icons Parchman, Johnston Leave Posts

Two high-profile coaches announced within the past week that they would be leaving Class 5A football powerhouses Midland Lee and Katy.

First came word out of Midland last Thursday that John Parchman—the winningest coach in Rebel history, had tendered a resignation. With Cedric Benson plowing the way on the ground, Parchman's Rebels nabbed consecutive Class 5A state championships in 1998-2000. Parchman compiled an 88-24-1 mark in nine seasons at the Lee helm.

There was a mixture of surprise with expected anticipation when news spread of Parchman's resignation. While Midland High coach Craig Yenzer said he had no idea that Parchman was looking to step down to pursue other interests, Midland Christian coach Greg McClendon (an assistant under Parchman the last three years), said he knew it was coming for some time, although he wasn't necessarily expecting it to happen this year.

In the Greater Houston area, meanwhile, Katy High School coaching legend Mike Johnston has made a move to coach at Houston Christian High School. Johnston comes off a year in which he led the Tigers to a Class 5A Division II state championship over Southlake Carroll. Johnston led Katy for 22 years and will move to the Mustangs on March 1.

Interestingly, Johnston ended the 2003 campaign with his 200th career win, all at Katy. He fashioned a 200-76 mark for the Tigers and also nabbed state championships in 1997 and 2000. In all, his teams played in five state finals, enjoyed 10 10-win seasons and built a 105-28 record in the 1990s.

In moving to Houston Christian, Johnston reunites with longtime friend Michael Riggs, athletic director at Houston Christian.

While talking about how difficult it is to leave a program he was affiliated with for more than two decades, Johnston added that, "I don't feel like there's a more blessed coach in America than I am. It's just the right thing at the right time."

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