WATCHFUL EYE Healdsburg varsity football coach Randy Parmeter analyzed a Greyhounds practice before their season opener on Sept. 1, 2023. He was fired by the school’s Athletic Director in March 2024.

Healdsburg High School is once again searching for a new football coach, following an off-season disagreement between Randy Parmeter and the school’s athletic director, Joshua Cavanagh.

Parmeter, who had coaching roles for several Sonoma County teams including El Molino, Cardinal Newman and Windsor, took over the varsity program last fall. The Healdsburg Greyhounds team had not won a league game since 2017, and went 0-11 in the 2022 season.

But the new coach was only able to steer the Greyhounds to an 0-9-1 record, which included a 42-42 tie against Berean Christian in a non-league game.

His firing by Cavanagh, however, was not related to his record as a coach, for which he drew generally high marks from parents and players despite the team’s record. Parmeter claimed it was over some off-season fundraising activities. Since his claims could not be independently verified, they are not being repeated here.

While Parmeter allowed the wide distribution of his side of the story on social media, Cavanagh would only say, “I will not comment on Randy’s letter, but can confirm he is no longer our football coach. The search has begun.”

The news reminded locals of the 2012 firing of HHS Athletic Director and track coach Jenean Bingham, who had been the head track coach for 13 years. Her dismissal came after the removal of the four other coaches at the school, two in the tennis program and another track coach, and the departure of the baseball coach, Mark Domenichelli (who has since returned to HHS as varsity baseball coach).

The principal of Healdsburg High School at the time was Chris Vanden Heuvel, who is now the superintendent of Healdsburg Unified School District.

Chris Vanden Heuvel

Last week, in the wake of Parmeter’s dismissal, Vanden Heuvel said, “High school sports are a hugely important element at HHS and the lives of our students. Nearly half our kids participate in these programs. Lessons in character that will not be forgotten—integrity, discipline, teamwork and resilience are taught on the court, track and pitch. My own children have benefitted from these programs so I know firsthand as a parent and educator the value they provide.”

The superintendent went on to say, “Most importantly, I want to be clear that while there may be turnover, every staffing decision we make puts our students and the integrity of our athletics program first.”

Parmeter’s public complaints also implicated Principal Francisco Manriquez, who announced he would be leaving the post after only one year. That means that as well as looking for a football coach, HHS is also searching to fill the more important post of principal.

Said Vanden Heuvel, “While unfortunate, Mr. Manriquez resigned due to time away from family, and we are on the search for a new leader of the school. Nevertheless, the school continues to provide excellent opportunities for kids and remains the top in Sonoma County for college and career preparedness as measured by the state.”

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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