CHAMPAIGN — Jon Goebel plans to apply for the permanent Parkland baseball coaching job.
It's in his competitive nature, after all.
The former Parkland pitching coach and recruiting coordinator was tabbed the Cobras' interim coach on Sunday, replacing Dave Garcia. At least temporarily.
But if it's up to the 32-year-old Goebel, he wants the interim tag removed in the future.
"Ultimately, I have 35-plus guys counting on myself and the rest of the coaching staff to be there for them and develop them into the players they want to be," Goebel said. "I owe it to each and every one of them to do everything I can to make sure they look back and feel like coming to Parkland was the best decision they could have made. For me, the cornerstone of a successful coach is the strength of his relationship with his guys. Our goals and mission for this season are simple, and I want to be a part of that."
Parkland athletic director Rod Lovett's final day at the junior college is today. He's stepping aside after 17 years as the school's AD to take a job as the director of championships for the NJCAA, but indicated Parkland hopes to name a permanent baseball coach by the end of the fall semester.
Goebel has become an integral part of the recent run of success by the Cobras. The former pitcher at Bradley just completed his fifth season on staff, with Parkland compiling a 214-88-2 record and making three straight trips to the NJCAA Division II World Series in that span.
"Parkland has had a great program for many years," Goebel said. "The job comes with a lot of pressure and expectations, which is what makes this opportunity so exciting."
All of those seasons came coaching alongside Garcia, who became the hitting coach at Western Carolina earlier this month.
"Coaching for Dave was perfect for me," Goebel said. "Dave gave me the freedom to take on as much responsibility as I could. There is no way I could have helped the guys have the success that they did without Dave trusting and believing in me. Dave completely understands how to treat his players and coaches in a way that makes them feel comfortable to be their own person. I can't thank him enough."
Some of Parkland's former pitchers probably think the same of Goebel.
Brady Schanuel went on to pitch at Iowa and is currently in the Milwaukee Brewers organization after getting drafted by the Brewers in June. Ross Learnard, a former Salt Fork product, earned All-American honors the past two seasons at Purdue and finished with 15 saves this past season. Mahomet-Seymour graduate Jack Rettig just completed his first season pitching at Belmont after playing a key role in the 2017 season for the Cobras. Centennial graduate Luke Smith will pitch next season at Louisville after posting an 8-2 record with a 3.06 earned run average this past spring.
Goebel wants to add to those accomplishments with the Cobras in a larger role.
"Baseball has been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember," Goebel said. "At first, coaching was about just feeding the desire to stay in the game and keep competing in some way. Now, it's about the relationships formed with the players and helping them get to where they want to be."