Providence Christian product Chase Paramore finds niche as college football assistant in Texas
There are surely times as Chase Paramore drives up and down I-35 in his 2003 pickup truck searching for another football recruit in Parts Unknown, Texas, that he must wonder if it’s all worth it.
“I’m going to have a lot of good material for a book,” Paramore said. “I’ll remember that hole in my Jeep Wrangler, in the window of my driver’s side. Maybe one day it will pay off,” he added of the wear and tear of his vehicle during the many trips.
Four years into his coaching career on the NAIA level – one season at Faulkner University in Montgomery and the past three at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas – Paramore is climbing the ladder one step at a time in the college football coaching profession.
The compensation for now is relatively low and the workload extremely high as the Dothan native wears three hats as wide receivers coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the college located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
All along he’s willing to pay his dues and do whatever it takes to progress while learning under SAGU head coach Ryan Smith.
“To me, you can’t put a price on that,” Paramore said. “Working with coach Smith is a really awesome thing, because I think he’s got the pedigree to being a big-time coach. I like the fact that the first year I was there we went 0-10 and this year we went 9-3.”
Paramore, who was a long snapper and tight end on the Providence Christian football team, always had an interest in coaching.
“I went to Auburn kind of with the intention in mind of getting an education degree and probably staying around here and being a high school coach in the Wiregrass area,” Paramore said. “Throughout Auburn, any kind of high school that would give me the time of day to come out to spring training or anything I could get to, I would go.”
He also picked the brain of Wiregrass coaching legend Leavy Boutwell, who is a friend of the family.
“I kind of grew up going over to his house talking about coaching and everything,” Paramore said. “I always thought I’d probably end up coaching high school.”
While still at Auburn, Paramore was put in contact with college coaching great Larry Blakeney, who had retired after 24 years in charge at Troy University. Paramore’s uncle, Phil Paramore, worked with Blakeney at Troy as host of the coach’s weekly TV show during the season along with hosting his own sports radio show. He also served as a sports columnist for years with the Dothan Eagle.
“My senior year, uncle Phil got in touch with coach Blakeney, who had moved back to the Auburn area after retiring at Troy, and he ended up living about five minutes from my apartment,” Paramore explained. “I started going over to coach Blakeney’s house talking ball and he started introducing me to different coaches.”
Among those coaches was Shayne Wasden, who took the job of head coach at Faulkner in 2018 after 12 years as an assistant at Troy. At the time, Paramore was doing an internship at Smiths Station High School.
“As soon as coach Wasden took the job at Faulkner, I started driving over from Smiths Station every day to Faulkner and work the bottom half of the day with them,” Paramore said. “He put me immediately working with special teams.
“It’s not as glamorous as being an offensive coordinator or a defensive coordinator, but yet I would say special teams is probably more nerve-racking of any of the two because your margin of error is so small.”
A year later, Paramore was on his way to Texas to coach at a school he had never heard of before Smith called. Paramore had previously made connections with an assistant on the staff, which led to the opportunity.
“Kind of out on a whim coach Ryan Smith called me and asked me to come out and interview with him,” Paramore said. “You always hear you’re going to have to move around a lot, so the opportunity came up to kind of expand recruiting for me.
“To get to go to Texas and have the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) recruiting area … I didn’t hardly even look up the school.”
His years as a student at Providence Christian made the transition to a Christian-based college an easy one for Paramore.
“Being around Providence, I saw coaches that could coach football, coach you hard, but coach you in a manner that’s still acceptable for a Christian school administration,” Paramore said. “That’s very valuable. I understand how to coach a kid hard without having to curse them, which is important.”
Paramore has come to love the role of recruiting as much as coaching on the field.
“It’s kind of a thrill for me to try and find the kid nobody knows about,” Paramore said. “You can’t leave any stones uncovered when you’re trying to recruit for a small school, so it’s challenging and I like that.”
Once the football season ends, Paramore and Smith hit the recruiting trail. While SAGU certainly is on the lookout for high school talent, it is players on the junior college level that Paramore and Smith have targeted the most in building the program. The main recruiting area is Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.
Recently the two spent time searching for players in California, which was an eye-opening experience.
“Here’s the thing about California that is so difficult, especially operating in the new COVID world,” Paramore explained. “None of those kids are on campus. Their classes are still online, so you’ve got to do a lot of your ground work before you get there.
“What you end up doing is you find three or four players you’re really interested in and you talk to the coach, and then you find more of the outliers that maybe people aren’t talking to. Then you end up kind of meeting these kids all around throughout the Los Angeles area.
“I never realized how big Los Angeles was until I got there and realized traffic-wise that I’m 20 miles away from a kid and that might be an hour and 40 minutes.”
When Paramore finds a recruit he’s interested in, the work really kicks in – which means plenty of time on the cell phone.
“Just periodically during the day I have to make calls and do little things here or there even when I’m on vacation,” Paramore said. “I’m going to at least touch bases with them, even it’s asking them what’s on their Christmas menu for eating … what’s Grandma cooking. I’m going to at least touch bases with them every day until I get them committed, signed and accepted into school.”
It’s been a busy month for Paramore, who got engaged and also was chosen along with Smith to coach in the NAIA Senior Football Classic all-star game in Durham, N.C.
In the same way he’s found success away from home, Paramore hopes local high school players will be open to exploring offers away from the Wiregrass.
“You’ve got to change your scenery to change your scenario oftentimes,” Paramore said. “You can always come back to the Circle City, but at some point and time in order to grow and give yourself an opportunity, you may need to take that Division II or NAIA offer that’s somewhere outside of your comfort zone.”
Jon Johnson is sports editor of the Dothan Eagle and can be reached at email@example.com or 334.712.7965. Support his work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com. Follow Jon Johnson on Twitter @eaglesportsed
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