More than 20 years after coaching in the NFL and more than 10 years after coaching anywhere, coach Ray Perkins has returned to football.
The former Giants and Buccaneers head coach has become the new head coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellsville, Mississippi. The hire occurred in December 2011. But the news largely was lost in the shuffle of the final weeks of the NFL regular season. In a new article published Monday by the Associated Press, the 70-year-old Perkins talks about his new job.
“It fits like a glove,” Perkins said. “This is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
He doesn’t care about the low profile of the school. “It gives me an opportunity to have a little meaning, to hopefully teach something to these young people and also learn some things from them as well,” Perkins said. “These are two or three of the most important years in their life. The passion I’ve had for football has never wavered, so I really jumped at this chance.”
Perkins will earn roughly $100,000 in 2012 on a year-to-year contract. Ticket sales and interest in the program have increased, based on Perkins’ pedigree.
But his past isn’t something that comes up much with the team. “They know how to use Google,” Perkins said.
If/when they do, they’ll see that Perkins coached the Giants from 1979 through 1982, Alabama from 1983 through 1986, and the Buccaneers from 1987 to 1990. They’ll also see that he once mentored men like Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, and Romeo Crennel.
So how long does Perkins plan to stick around his new digs?
“How about 20 years? Does that sound good?” Perkins said. “I don’t have a certain time frame. I really don’t. As long as we can be successful in guiding young people and win a few football games along the way, there’s no reason to stop.”
It’s the right attitude for anyone, at any age. And we wish Coach Perkins well in his return to the sport that he loves.