February 28th, 2022 | Josh Adelman

Soldiers To Sidelines honors US Navy Lieutenant Parrish Gaines as the Soldiers To Sidelines February 2022 Coach of the Month for his enduring commitment to his coaching craft.

Coach Gaines realized he was a coach while attending the US Naval Academy. He optimized his training and experience throughout his military service to enhance his coaching practice on the football field. Most recently he earned a graduate assistant coaching position with the University of Cincinnati. These jobs are super competitive, and Parrish exceeded the competition. His hard work culminated in an undefeated regular season and a 4th seed in the NCAA College Football Playoff.

Coach Gaines gets his players ready to face off against UCF

Coach Gaines tells us how he got into coaching football professionally and what motivates him.

“As Captain of the Naval Academy Football team, I was able to prepare my peers mentally, morally, and physically for the rigors of the Naval Academy and military service. I was able to establish strong relationships with fans and serve as a role model and ambassador to the public.

“After graduating from the Naval Academy, I continued to lead men and women in high-risk and stressful environments in the U.S. Navy. During my 6-year stint in the Navy, I worked in the fields of football coaching, supply chain management, human development, and talent acquisition. A common value to success in each job was character development. I learned the combination of competence, confidence, and strength of character, serving my sailors well in any capacity.”

“My desire for character development and my love for football led me back to the field. Coaching exhilarates me, inspires me, strengthens me, and motives me to be better than great. Extending my knowledge and love for the game to young men on a college football field while holding them to the highest moral and ethical standards will reach and inspire many not in the world of sports and military.”

Coaching sports at the collegiate level is never easy. It comes with an array of challenges. Parrish explains one of his more difficult challenges. “The most difficult challenge I have experienced while coaching is getting players to embrace accountability. My job is to develop players, leaders, and most importantly men. I have learned to allow players to show self-reliance by taking the initiative to deliver favorable results.”

Coach Gaines has learned how to hold players accountable from both his football experience and his military experience. Since Parrish realized he was a coach every day in every aspect of his life including his military service, he was better prepared to become a football coach. The US Navy gave him the intangible tools to succeed in football coaching. He says, “My military experience taught me to be hardworking and passionate about being a humble leader. In addition, it showed me true teamwork. I have the ability to bring together people of every flavor; seniors and subordinates, majorities and minorities, jocks, and bookworms.”

Coach Gaines pregame with some of his players

Bringing people together from all walks of life and then holding them accountable to pursue excellence is the epitome of coaching. It inspires everyone to achieve the unimaginable. Coach Parrish Gaines from the US Navy was able to help the University of Cincinnati football team achieve more than the public thought was possible… a legitimate run at the NCAA National Championship. For his effort and commitment to coaching excellence, we are honored to award Parrish Gaines as the Soldiers To Sidelines February 2022 Coach of the Month.