For Norm Parrish, the former head coach of the men’s basketball team at Salt Lake Community College, being at the University of Utah is a learning experience.
Parrish served as the head coach at SLCC for 20 years, leading the Bruins to unprecedented success including the 2009 NJCAA national championship and being named Region 18 Coach of the Year five times. Now though, Parrish is serving as director of basketball operations under Larry Krystkowiak, the University of Utah’s first year head coach.
“The hardest part honestly is that we’ve lost three years worth of games this year,” Parrish said. “I’ve just never lost like this in my life.”
As it currently stands, the Utah Runnin’ Utes are 6-22 with two games left in the 2011-2012 season.
Parrish said that “the food is more plentiful” and “the travel is more luxurious” as an assistant coach at the University of Utah.
Away games at SLCC included trips to Ephraim, Utah and Twin Falls, Idaho, while away games in the Pac-12 are at more desirable destinations such as Los Angeles and Seattle.
While Parrish has had to adjust to losing and going to more luxurious destinations, another major adjustment for him is the amount of control he has over the day to day routines such as film study, practice and teaching a class to students every day. At SLCC, Parrish had full control of the men’s basketball team but now he has had to learn to work on someone else’s schedule.
“If I wanted practice to end at five, it ended at five [at SLCC],” Parrish said.
Parrish acknowledged that his evenings and nights aren’t as busy now in his new role, saying that “I don’t have to be on the phone as much,” but he does miss being a head coach and misses SLCC.
“The [2009 NJCAA] national championship and even the year before when we were runner up, that was a special team,” he said. “I’m glad that I was able to be a part of that.”
Parrish manages to stay in contact with the people he has created relationships at SLCC and communicates with them regularly.
“The people there I still talk to all the time,” Parrish said. “I miss it. I talk to the coaches almost daily and I wish them the best of luck.”
During Coach Parrish’s tenure at Salt Lake Community College he implemented a winning tradition with a career record of 447-198 (.693). In the year since his move to the University of Utah, the Bruins men’s basketball team is 20-7 under new coach Todd Phillips and looking forward to the Region 18 tournament, which SLCC is hosting this year from March 8 through March 10.
More information about Coach Parrish can be found at the University of Utah’s athletic website, www.utahutes.com.