MANHATTAN, Kan. – Stan Parrish, the 31st head coach in K-State football history who was at the helm of the Wildcat program from 1986 to 1988, passed away Sunday at the age of 75.
Nicknamed “Air Parrish” for his multiple, pass-oriented offensive strategy, Parrish came to Manhattan in 1986 after serving the previous two seasons as the head coach at Marshall.
Parrish’s career began at Windham High School in Windham, Ohio, before serving as a graduate assistant for two years at Purdue and one season as an assistant coach at Division III Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He quickly took over as head coach of the Little Giants in 1978, putting together a 42-3-1 record over five seasons, which included a perfect 10-0 mark in his final season in 1982.
Following his time at K-State, Parrish worked for six years at Rutgers before serving as the quarterbacks coach at Michigan from 1996 to 2001. While in Ann Arbor, he tutored future NFL quarterbacks Brian Griese and Tom Brady, while he helped the Wolverines win a national championship in 1997.
Parrish moved on to the NFL, serving as the quarterbacks coach for Tampa Bay in 2002 and 2003, helping the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVI. He moved back to the college ranks in 2005 to coach at Ball State, a place he stayed for six seasons, which included the final three years as head coach. His last stint as a football coach came at Eastern Michigan, where he was the offensive coordinator and later the interim head coach in 2013.
Parrish is survived by his wife, the former Ruth Purdy, son Andrew and daughter Libby. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg in 1969, where he played defensive back from 1965-68.