Metea Valley Football coach John Parpet enters his fifth season at the helm in 2023. This fall, a new assistant joins him on the sidelines, but this coach is far from a newcomer. Paul Parpet, John’s uncle, joins the black and gold to coach both the offense and defensive lines after decades as head coach at Addison Trail and Lisle. During Paul’s tenure at those programs, John worked as an assistant. The two also coached baseball together throughout their coaching careers, but it’s the game of football that flows through their DNA. With Paul entering his 50th season of coaching, it’s now his nephew’s turn to take charge. This Feature Story is sponsored by Edward-Elmhurst Health.
New family sheriff takes charge
“I remind (Paul) all the time that I’m the boss, and it feels so good to say and it’s amazing how things come into full circle. He’s the main reason why I’m here in this profession and how prepared I was for the job because of him,” said Metea Valley head football coach John Parpet.
“Johnny and I are close, and I enjoy working with him, I’ve coached baseball with him at a very high level at Addison Trail and at Downers Grove South. I coached football at Addison Trail with him and four more years at Lisle. I always promised we would work together again and with him being the head coach,” said Metea Valley assistant coach Paul Parpet.
Regardless of who’s the boss, both coaches and family members are excited to reunite on the gridiron. With Metea Valley being John’s first-ever head coaching job, his uncle knew that there was excitement coming to the Mustang program after seeing the work John put in with the Blazers and Lions.
“He came to my house and said, “Uncle Paul, I want to tell you something I’m very proud of. I have the opportunity to be the head coach at Metea Valley,” and I said to them hey they’re getting a heck of a coach and a person and one of these days we’ll work together, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Paul.
Family and Football
The Parpet family working together is nothing new for this collection of football lifers.
John’s father, John Parpet Sr was also a longtime assistant coach under his brother Paul at Addison Trail, while Paul’s son, Paul Jr took over for his father as head coach at Addison Trail from 2010-2019
This season, the team record may not show the results yet, but the addition of Paul has brought fire to the Mustangs offense. They are averaging over 144 yards on the ground per contest after years of struggling to develop a consistent running game. One of the more electric plays in the area this season was a Charles Flowers 75-yard touchdown run against Plainfield Central in week two.
“We’re doing that after some very devastating injuries early on to where over the summer we’ve had to retool it on the fly. So that goes back to the earlier question of keeping things in perspective, making sure that we understand what our base fundamentals are and being able to transition that to fit the personnel,” said John.
Conference play equals new opportunities
Despite their struggles in the non conference slate, the Mustangs can build on the positives and focus on hitting their stride in the DVC. After 50 years in the game including over 200 wins as a head coach, Paul Parpet knows what it takes to develop a winning formula. “Football is about fundamentals. You have to be fundamentally sound, especially against the quality of competition we have right now. Schemes are good but you got to have the fundamentals to perform the scheme. Everybody can watch the TV program and think they can do that, but it’s what you teach them. You have to teach them how to play the game the right way,” said Paul.
At the start of conference play, John and Paul hope the reunited Parpet dynamic duo can develop those fundamentals and light the spark to ignite Metea Valley football.
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