By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
CV's Parrish to receive Athletic Director of the Year award
Michelle Parrish felt overwhelmed at times during her first year as Central Valley High School's athletic director in 2006-07.

"It was a big climb," she said.

Parrish's diligence paid off.

She was named Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year for 2010-11 in December by the California State Athletic Directors Association.

"Peers have recognized Michelle for her commitment to your school and community," C.S.A.D.A. Awards Chairman and Sonora athletic director Rick Francis stated in a notification letter to Central Valley principal Amy Peterman.

Michelle received the news before winter break.

"It was kind of a shock," she said. "It's a huge honor. I'm happy."

Parrish replaced Jeff Rocchi, Central Valley's first athletic director. He accepted a teaching position with Colorado Springs School District following the 2005-06 school year.

Francis, Bill Stricker (formerly of East Union), Greg Leland (Sierra) and Phil de la Porte (Ceres High) were among the handful of people to provide Parrish with valuable insight and direction during Central Valley's four-year stint in the Valley Oak League.

"I wouldn't be here today without the help of all the athletic directors in our league," Michelle said. "I was calling them all the time and asking them questions my first year. A little piece of it (the award) should go to them and (former Central Valley principal) Fred Van Vleck for giving me the job. They were great mentors to learn from."

Parrish's job duties include budgeting, hiring coaches, scheduling games and transportation and fundraising.

"There's a new thing every day," she said.

Michelle planned to coach volleyball at a Division I high school in the Fresno/Clovis area or San Diego before choosing a different career path. She spent 12 years at Chowchilla High School teaching P.E. and coaching volleyball. The Redskins won CIF Central Section titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Central Valley's varsity boys soccer program has reached record heights during Parrish's five-year stint as athletic director. The Hawks advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game for the second year in a row, captured their third consecutive league title and participated in the playoffs for the fourth straight season in 2010.

Latrisha Jordan, a 2008 Central Valley graduate, earned a track and field scholarship to Fresno State.

Trevor Mew (class of 2009) put up video game-like numbers while tallying the second-best quarterback rating in the Sac-Joaquin Section as a senior.

"I really love this job," Parrish said. "I enjoy watching the kids. I live vicariously through them. I was an athlete. I remember all the fun we used to have. Sports are very important for many of our kids. It provides them with work ethic and all skills they can use later in life."

Michelle will attend the C.S.A.D.A. Conference Awards Banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs on May 7.

Just 32 of the Sac-Joaquin Section's 191 schools, or less than 17 percent, have female athletic directors. Will DeBoard, director of communications, provided the gender information to the Courier on Wednesday, Jan. 5 morning.

"There are a couple in our section but not many," Parrish said. "The majority are male."