MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University head football coach Chris Ostrowsky has announced that John Parrella, a 12-year NFL veteran, has been named the Wildcats defensive line coach.
"We are excited to welcome John and his family into our Wildcat football family," said Ostrowsky. "He brings an extraordinary amount of experience and maturity to the position. His enthusiasm and passion for the game will make him a great asset to the program."
Parrella most recently served as an assistant coach at Chabot Junior College in Hayward, Calif. where the squad won the Golden Gate Conference in 2013 and then played Siskiyous in the Top of the State Bowl game for the Central Division Championship winning 36-22. The MVP of that bowl was a defensive lineman who recorded 3.5 sacks.
"I'm fired up to be a part of the Wildcat football family," said Parrella.
Prior to his stint at Chabot, Parrella started the varsity football program at Valley Christian High School and guided the Vikings to four straight North Coast Section Division IV playoff appearances. In his first season at the helm, Parrella led Valley Christian to the semifinals of the NCS playoffs.
After being drafted in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Parrella went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL for the Bills, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders before retiring in 2004 with 405 tackles and 26.5 career sacks, having played in three Superbowls.
Parrella was voted one of the 100 Greatest Athletes in Nebraska Cornhusker history and lettered three times for the Cornhuskers before being the first Nebraska player drafted in the 1993 NFL Draft. Parrella was a 2001 inductee into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame and was Inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 2011.
He holds a bachelors degree in child, youth and family studies from Nebraska. Parrella and his wife Leigh have four sons Zach (20), Cal (18), Alex (15) and Jake (12) and a daughter Grace (3).