Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Parkway hires new football coach
By Tom Stankard
ROCKFORD - Parkway High School alumnus Joel Henkle was hired on Tuesday night as the new head varsity football coach for the upcoming season.
He replaces Robert Rutledge, who left the Panther football program after one season to join the University of Mississippi staff in the Southeastern Conference.
While in high school, Henkle received varsity letters in football and baseball before graduating in 2008. He majored in risk management and insurance at Ball State University and received his bachelor's degree in 2012. After graduation, he began working with his family at Henkle Insurance Agency in Rockford.
Henkle said he also has been coaching junior high football at Parkway for four years and for two years at the varsity level.
Athletic director Matthew Triplett said he thinks Henkle will do a "wonderful job" as head coach.
"Last two years at the high school level gives him experience that's going to benefit him," he noted. "Being an alum is going to give him added insight."
Becoming the head coach is a dream come true, Henkle said.
"(I've) been wanting to do this for multiple years," he said. "I hope to build a program that can consistently win and to develop these young men into better citizens and football players."
Also on Tuesday, superintendent Jeanne Osterfeld updated board members on the construction of the home-side bleachers at the football stadium, saying the project is on schedule to be completed by the beginning of the upcoming season.
The current bleachers are being dismantled and should be gone by the end of the month, she noted. Bids are being received for the foundation of the new bleachers, which are expected to be completed by the beginning of June.
Henkle has reviewed plans drafted by Dant Clayton Corp. of Louisville, Kentucky, for the new bleachers and press box, saying he was impressed.
"I think the plans are good to go," he added.
Board members had awarded Dant Clayton a contract for the project. The company had submitted a $482,275 bid for the whole project, but district officials opted to hire local companies to do the dismantling and removal of the current bleachers and electrical work to cut costs.
Board members approved issuing a one-year contract to Kevin Browning as technology director beginning next school year at a salary of $70,000. He takes the place of Talan Bates, who retired in February after serving the district for more than 20 years.
In other action, members,
• approved a one-year medical leave of absence for Michelle Boyer, beginning March 12.
• approved paying Amber Donough $200 per track meet for organizing the meets during the 2019 season.
• approved Teri Samples as varsity softball volunteer assistant coach, Don Trisel as junior high school track assistant coach and Luke Clouse as athletic event coordinator.
• met in executive session to discuss confidential matters as required by state and federal laws. Board president Michelle Burtch told the newspaper no action would be taken afterward.