When Jim Dennison became head football coach at The University of Akron in 1973, one of the first athletes he recruited was Akron Garfield’s Charles Parnell. However, the greatness Dennison saw in Parnell, who went on to earn four letters from 1974 thru 1977, had to be delayed a season due to knee surgery. As a freshman, Parnell was a part-time starter in the Zip defensive backfield. One season later he had established himself as a top-notch defensive stalwart by leading the secondary with 100 tackles and three fumble recoveries as UA won seven of 11 games. It was in 1976 that Parnell helped the Zips compile their most productive season in 92 years of football on campus. The UA gridders captured 10 of 13 games and finished national runner-up to Montana State in the NCAA II Championship. Enroute, Parnell was in on 87 tackles, had three pass interceptions - one returned for a touchdown - and recovered two fumbles. He closed out his excellent career as tri-captain of the 1977 squad and again led the secondary with 86 tackles and three fumble recoveries. Parnell's five pass interception in '77, including another return for a TD, helped UA establish an all-time record of 26 interceptions - a mark that remains today as the standard to beat. In 1989, Parnell was inducted into UA's Sports Hall of Fame.