The Parkland College Blog

Brendan McHale Named New Athletic Director

Former Parkland athletic trainer returns to lead Cobras

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Parkland College has named Brendan McHale as its next director of athletics, overseeing the college’s eight Cobras sports teams.

A Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee, McHale brings two decades of administrative experience at Carle Foundation Hospital following more than a decade of work as a Parkland College athletic trainer.

Vice President for Student Services Mike Trame, who led the search for school’s next athletic director, explained why the college is “fortunate” to have McHale return to fill a new role.

“Brendan possesses great integrity, athletic experience and managerial skill,” Trame said. “He is also well respected in the District 505 athletic community. We look forward to the innovation, leadership and skill that he adds to Parkland’s pursuit of excellence for our student athletes, both in the classroom and on the field of competition.”

Before rejoining Parkland, McHale was in his 20th year at Carle Foundation Hospital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Champaign, having served as the department’s supervisor for the last 12 years. In that role, he managed more than 25 athletic trainers and negotiated contracts with athletic directors, coaches and school administrators to define and meet their needs and contractual obligations. He also collaborated with Carle administrators to manage the department’s budget.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be the next athletic director for Parkland College,” McHale said of his new role. “My predecessors, both Rod Lovett and Jim Reed, were such great leaders; I am fully aware these are big shoes to fill, but I am humbled at this opportunity. I am eager to go to work for Parkland College, and look forward to being a part of helping student athletes be successful.”

Prior to his time at Carle, McHale served as head athletic trainer at Parkland College from 1992 to 2006. As the sole athletic trainer for 13 collegiate sports with over 200 student athletes, McHale developed therapy plans, implemented an injury tracking system and coordinated medical staff for the athletes’ physicals and medical services. Even after leaving the college, McHale continued his collaboration with Parkland through his work with Carle Sports Medicine, maintaining his relationships with the coaches and staff. In 2010, he was inducted into the Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2009.

“When this opportunity presented itself, to say I was intrigued would be an understatement,” McHale said about the AD position vacated by Lovett, who retired this past summer after serving as AD since 2000. “The chance to be a member of the Parkland College family again is something I am extremely excited about. Coupling that with my love for sports connects these two interests. Helping serve and support the coaches, staff and student athletes at Parkland College is something I will enjoy doing again.”

Lovett also expressed his excitement on seeing McHale become his successor.

“Brendan has the perfect personality and the exceptional communication skills to take on this challenge,” Lovett said. “Brendan is a ‘doer’ and will jump in where needed. Additionally, he understands the importance Parkland plays in the local area. He is an outstanding choice, and I’m excited for the coaches and athletes at Parkland.”

A graduate of Western Illinois University in 1990, McHale earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education K-12 with an emphasis in athletic training after spending his first two years at Parkland College. He made his first professional stop at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Galesburg, Illinois, from 1991 to 1992, where he developed and implemented a sports medicine program with local high schools and counseled coaches on care options. During his first seven years at Parkland College, he also served as Christie Clinic Association’s athletic trainer, where he evaluated and reconstructed rehabilitation protocols, coordinated patient treatments and administered evaluations.

McHale has continued to take advantage of professional development opportunities through 23 leadership courses and annual attendance at National Athletic Trainers Conferences.

He lives in Mahomet with his wife, Karen, and their four children, Catherine, Nicholas, Jack and Alex.

Parkland Golf Wins Back-to-Back M-WAC Title

Cobras win 13th conference crown

  • Anonym |
  • 0

METAMORA, Ill.  The fourth-ranked Parkland Men’s Golf team won its second straight Mid-West Athletic Conference title, its third in the last four years, Monday evening at Metamora Field Golf Club.

Winning by 17 strokes (339) over runner-up Illinois Central, the Cobras were led by co-medalist Jalen Hodges (71) and All-Conference honoree Brandon Rowe (73).

“I’m proud of the guys for the fight they showed all day on a really difficult course,” said Coach Corbin Sebens. “We didn’t have our best stuff, but it’s a good start to the year we can build from.”

Winning its third conference crown since 2015, the Cobras lead the MWAC in total titles with 13 since its inception in 1996. Parkland went on to take third place at the NJCAA Championships this past spring.

Through the opening scramble competition, Parkland and Illinois Central remained tied with the duos of Kristian Kristensen and Mason Ghodina (30) and Brandon Rowe and Kyle Edwards (30).

The Cobras gained the advantage in the alternate shot portion of the tournament, picking up five strokes on Illinois Central and carding a combined 69. Seben’s squad maintained its five-stroke lead through the best ball round, as Vincennes passed Illinois Central to move into second place entering the final nine holes.

In individual play, co-medalist Jalen Hodges posted Parkland’s best round by carding 35, while Kyle Edwards followed with a 36.

Overall, Parkland finished with a final stroke score of 339, while Illinois Central (356) passed Vincennes (357) in individual play to comeback and earn second place. Lewis & Clark placed fourth with a final score of 397.

Team Scores:
Parkland - 339
Illinois Central - 356
Vincennes - 357
Lewis & Clark - 397

Co-Medalists: Jalen Hodges (Parkland) and Wyatt Robers (Vincennes)
All-Conference: Zach Hall (Vincennes), Noah Benbow (ICC) and Brandon Rowe (Parkland)


[Article by Chad Beyler]

Dedication of "Taking Flight" Installation Set for Sept. 27

Public is invited to event, which includes music and refreshments

  • Anonym |
  • 0

A dedication ceremony for Parkland College's new state-funded art installation will take place next week; the public is invited.

The "Taking Flight" art installation dedication will be Thursday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union lobby.

Consisting of over 500 ceramic birds, "Taking Flight" welcomes students and visitors to the atrium of Parkland College's Student Union. During the dedication, the work's creator, Ann Coddington, will speak briefly about the conception, design, fabrication, and installation of the piece. The event includes a brief performance by the Coneflowers and light refreshments.

Coddington, a Champaign artist and professor of art at Eastern Illinois University, installed the work this summer. Lisa Costello, director of Giertz Gallery at Parkland College, explained the delay in dedicating the piece. 

"Although we offer classes year-round, we thought it would be ideal to hold the dedication once the fall semester started; this way we are able to celebrate the installation with as many students and community members as possible," she said. The project was funded through the state Art-in-Architecture program, part of the Illinois Capital Development Board. Established in 1977, the AIA works to promote and preserve the arts by securing suitable works of art to adorn public buildings constructed or renovated through state funds, reserving one-half of one percent of the construction or renovation costs to do so. The program emphasizes works by Illinois artists and creates a permanent art collection for Illinoisans.

Coddington submitted her proposal in response to a statewide search by the AIA program when the Student Union was under construction. The committee was impressed by her consideration of the natural elements—wood, stone, sunlight—that make up the bright, airy space she would be working with, and they selected her work.

More information on "Taking Flight" is available at the Parkland College website.

Suicide Prevention Activities, Events for Fall

September is designated nationally as Suicide Prevention Month

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Fall can be a difficult time of year for many, especially for those who experience anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other conditions. To assist the campus and community, Parkland College's Counseling Services unit will host the following suicide prevention-related events and activities this fall, beginning in September, designated nationally as Suicide Prevention Month.
The public is invited to participate in these events taking place on campus and within the community:

The 22 Challenge
Thursday, Sept. 20
11 a.m. | Student Union
Come support our veterans and get your fitness on, as we join together to bring awareness to the importance of suicide prevention in our veteran population. 

Out of the Darkness: Community Walk to Fight Suicide
Saturday, Sept. 22
11 a.m. | Crystal Lake Park
To join Parkland College's team, "Parkland Friends," to donate to support effort, or for more information, please contact Counselor Dennis Cockrum at or 217/369-2190.

National Depression Screening Day
Wednesday, Oct. 17
Noon–1 p.m. | Room U140
Free session includes video, follow-up panel discussion, and free confidential screenings.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Saturday, Nov. 17 | Room U140
Registration begins at 8:15 a.m., program starts at 9 a.m.
A gathering of those affected by suicide loss in an effort to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. 

"The Servant of Two Masters" at Parkland Theatre

Madcap comedy, first of season, opens Sept. 27 at Second Stage

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Parkland Theatre opens its newest season Sept. 27 with "The Servant of Two Masters," written by Carlo Goldoni and translated and adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and Paolo Emmilio Landi.

The show will be performed in Parkland Theatre's Second Stage through Oct. 7.

A modern mashup between traditional Italian commedia dell'arte and 1950s sitcoms, this new version of Goldoni's classic pits the madcap servant Truffaldino ("Dean Oliver Truffle") against masters, mistresses, lovers, lawyers and 27 plates of fast food. Imagine a Bob Hope comedy written by Monty Python and performed with the likes of Chaplin or Keaton.

Michael O'Brien directs a cast of campus and community players including Matthew Harper, Gabrielle Smith, Jake Smith, Zoë Dunn, Emaline Johnson, Parker Evans, Neil Ryan, Dave Heckman, Jarrod Finn, Melissa Goldman, Maya Hammond, Thom Billam, and Lindsay Wisniewski.

Parkland Theatre will hold a talkback immediately following the Sept. 27 show. O'Brien and members of the cast and crew will be on hand to discuss the show and answer audience questions.

Performance dates are Sept. 27, 28, 29 and Oct. 5, 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors (65+) and $9 for youth (12 and under), with groups of 20 or more $11 each. Opening night (Sept. 27) is half-price night.

To make reservations, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2528.