For the last two years, Mike Parmentier served as assistant football coach for the Civic Memorial Eagles.
It proved to be a rewarding experience and a necessary adjustment.
“I needed two years off from being a head coach to refuel and recharge my batteries,” Parmentier said.
Those batteries are fully charged again. Parmentier, 46, was named the new CM head football coach Monday. The Bethalto School Board appointed him to replace Justin Winslow, the Eagles’ head coach the past five years.
Winslow, who resigned in November, posted a 20-26 record in his half decade of coaching the Eagles. They went 7-3 last year, earning their first IHSA playoff berth in five years and recording their best season since 2005.
Now, it’s Parmentier’s turn to see what he can do in directing the Eagles. He can’t wait to start workouts and walk the home sideline at Hauser Field for CM’s opener against Marquette Catholic this August.
“I was a head coach for 16 seasons and I enjoyed my time doing it,” Parmentier said. “I loved it, so I’m excited about this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a great situation.”
He will put together his coaching staff soon enough. The Eagles return a number of quality players, though they lose top running back John Whitworth and talented quarterback Adam Hill via graduation.
“We have some good players coming back, including almost all of our offensive line,” Parmentier said. “There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle for next season and some great kids for it.”
Those Eagles may see a change in styles, or at least a tweak in what they do. They showcased a spread offense under Winslow’s tutelage.
“It was great what coach Winslow did this season,” Parmentier said. “He leaned on John and Adam and both of them were tremendous players.
“As for our offense next year, I’d think you would see more of the stuff like we ran at Staunton,” said Parmentier, owner of a 53-41 record in nine years with the Bulldogs. He was 40-29 in seven seasons at Girard.
He added, “We will rely more on a running game and power offense, though we will spread it out, too.”
What about defense?
“It’s going to depend upon the personnel with this group,” Parmentier said. “I’m not sure what we will do, though we did play a five-man front a lot of the time at Staunton.”
He figures there will be plenty of returnees among the assistant coaches and wouldn’t be surprised if his dad, Bill, agrees to become a volunteer assistant. Bill Parmentier, 81, has coached football and basketball for more than 50 years at multiple schools.
“I think that for the most part, the assistant coaches will stay on with the program,” Mike Parmentier said. “There are still some guys I want to talk to and then we will go from there.”
When Parmentier last served as a head football coach in 2013, he took Staunton to the Class 2A IHSA finals. The state-runner-up Bulldogs finished a magical season with a 9-5 record, including four successive postseason victories.
“We started 4-0, then our quarterback Jake Bruhn got hurt and we were 5-4 going in the playoffs. He came back and we put together a winning streak.”
He’s eyeing the same kind of success at CM, a member of the six-team Mississippi Valley Conference.
“I’ve coached in the Prairie State and South Central and now it will be in the Valley. That’s really exciting,” Parmentier said. “It’s a tough league and every week will be a battle. There are no gimmes. We are sort of a small fish in a big pond.”
Nevertheless, he’s confident that the Eagles can dive into the deep end of the pond. They went 3-2 in the MVC the past fall, losing only to eventual champion Triad and Highland.
“We want to win the Valley. That’s one of our goals,” Parmentier said. “And if we can make the playoffs, we will be battle-tested because of the teams we play in the conference.”
The Parmentier family of Bethalto includes wife, Janene, and their three children: Mitchell 18, Jenna 17 and Luke 12.
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