Alumni Spotlight - April 2019
Justin Parnell '11
Oregon Tech is known as a leader in engineering, applied sciences, psychology, health technologies, communications and management, yet its athletics programs are also quite notable. In this spotlight we feature head men’s basketball coach, Justin Parnell, who had big shoes to fill after taking over from legendary coach Danny Miles… and Parnell has definitely stepped up to the challenge!
At just 30 years old, Justin Parnell is leaving his mark on Oregon Tech. The National Association of Basketball Coaches named Justin one of the country’s best 30-under-30 in 2018, during only his second season as the head coach of the Hustlin’ Owls men’s basketball team. He took the team to the NAIA National Tournament all three years and this year, he took the team to the NAIA National Championship game. He was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Owls to their best regular season in the three years since taking the reins from Hall of Fame coach Danny Miles.
Justin grew up in Sutherlin, Oregon, another small town that loves basketball. He attended Oregon Tech as a Communication Studies major, graduating in 2011. He only played basketball for two years for Oregon Tech, having transferred after his sophomore year from Northwest Nazarene. He was a part of Coach Miles’ 900th career win and would eventually come back as an assistant coach alongside Danny Miles during 2011 and again in 2014. When Coach Miles retired in 2015, Justin was named head coach.
Justin enjoyed other career successes before taking over as head coach in 2016. He coached at Lost River High School in 2012. He then worked at Oregon Tech as the Alumni Relations Manager from 2012-2015 in the Portland-Metro office. Justin also coached the women’s basketball team at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City before moving back down to Klamath Falls.
The future is bright with Coach Parnell at the helm of the Oregon Tech men’s basketball program. Along with assistant coaches Paul Poetsch, Josh Wetzler and Joel Yellow Owl, the tradition of training “Oregon Tech Guys” to be champions is a given. As Justin puts it, “Champions do things the right way because they want to. You win with champions.” Good character is just as important as strong athleticism at Oregon Tech.
Justin is married to Oregon Tech alumna, Joey Parnell, and they live in Klamath Falls with their son Jace and daughter Rylie. Joey played volleyball at Oregon Tech and studied echocardiography, graduating in 2013. We can't wait to see what comes next for the Parnells and Hustlin' Owls basketball!
~Becky Burkeen, Alumni Relations Manager