Former Jesuit standout, coach Tim Parenton passes away after battle with cancer
When I first started working in the media industry, Jesuit had a very good football team which played in the most memorable state championship game, perhaps in the history of Louisiana.
The Blue Jays lost to Catholic League rival St. Augustine before over 44,000 fans in what is now Caesars Superdome.
Jesuit featured quarterback Tim Parenton, a good athlete who played four sports and played them well.
St. Augustine won the game 13-7 and it was the game that gave Bill Curl the idea to bring all LHSAA prep football championships under one roof, which happened in 1981.
Tim was an excellent quarterback but he also excelled in baseball, which would prove to be his future despite playing some football at Mississippi State. Parenton was part of two state championships with the Blue Jays under Frank Misuraca and was part of two American Legion state championship teams.
Parenton was also a member of a Jesuit semifinal team in basketball under Duane Reboul.
As a senior, Parenton threw the javelin for the Blue Jays, becoming the first four-sport letterman in many years, a list including former Major Leaguer Jimmy Gaudet, Wayne Francingues and 1960 state championship quarterback Pat Screen, all who walked the hallowed halls at Carrollton Avenue and Banks Street.
Originally, Parenton was recruited by Bo Rein to play football at LSU.
Tragically, Rein passed away and the change to Jerry Stovall resulted in the Tigers going in a different direction.
That resulted in change in direction for Parenton, who signed as a 2-sport star with Mississippi State.
Parenton was a 3-year letterman for the Bulldogs in baseball under Ron Polk, reuniting with his friend and high school teammate Will Clark. He played football for Emory Bellard in Starkville.
After graduating from State in 1984, he spent a year as a graduate assistant in football at Mississippi State before finding his calling in baseball, finding his vocation, under Polk, working at his alma mater.
After three years, he left the Bulldogs to become a full-time assistant coach at Old Dominion for five seasons before returning to Mississippi State as an assistant coach.
Parenton’s first head coaching opportunity came at Samford, where he spent seven years (1998-2004) before he was an assistant at Florida for three years (2005-2007).
Then, Parenton made a bold move, accepting the call to return to his high school alma mater as the head coach at Jesuit, serving three years from 2008-10.
Parenton returned to the college ranks as an assistant at North Florida in 2011 for three seasons.
Then came an opportunity as a head coach in minor league baseball with the Hudson Valley Renegades Class A team, a New York Yankees affiliate. Parenton worked there from 2014-17.
Most recently, Parenton was the head coach at North Florida, serving from 2017 through this past season, stepping down, unable to continue due to declining health.
Parenton’s family ties are strong and substantive and all can be traced back to Jesuit.
My older brother, Ed, graduated from Jesuit with Tim’s brother, O’Neil, affectionately known as “Mad Dog” by his Jesuit football teammates, in 1973. Pat is a gentleman, a friend, and a bit of a legend in Bayou country.
Tim’s brother, Mickey was an outstanding executive in the casino industry and he is a cancer survivor, as I am. Mickey graduated from Jesuit in 1984.
Tommy Parenton graduated in 1977.
Pat graduated from Jesuit in 1974.
Kelly Parenton graduated in 1991.
Six brothers graced the blue and white.
Pat summarized the feeling of the entire family and those who knew Tim well.
“To see what he lived through the last 30 days is amazing, he would not blame anyone and he would not quit,” Pat said. “It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of love for him. We have faith and we believe strongly that the Lord will provide. Tim was an inspiration to us all and to all who played for him.”
Covering Tim as a player was a blessing. He was a pleasure.
Covering Tim as a coach, when he returned to Jesuit, was a blessing. He was a pleasure and coached my wife’s twins, Chad and Cory Guidry.
After an extremely courageous battle with cancer, Tim passed away at the age of 61 this past Monday.
Until he physically could not do so, Tim was coaching, even carrying a chemotherapy bag with him. He had lost a massive amount of weight.
What Tim did not lose was his infectious, positive, competitive spirit. That will live on. I will always remember my friend and his wonderful family.
Services will be in New Orleans at Jesuit at the Church of the North American Martyrs at a date to be announced.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…