Ray Perkins

Last updated

Ray Perkins
1970 Baltimore Colts team photo postcard (Ray Perkins crop).jpg
Perkins posing with the Colts in 1970
Biographical details
Born(1941-11-06)November 6, 1941
Petal, Mississippi
DiedDecember 9, 2020(2020-12-09) (aged 79)
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Playing career
1964–1966 Alabama
1967–1971 Baltimore Colts
Position(s) Wide receiver
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973 Mississippi State (assistant)
1974–1977 New England Patriots (WR)
1978 San Diego Chargers (OC)
1979–1982 New York Giants
1983–1986 Alabama
1987–1990 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1992 Arkansas State
1993–1996 New England Patriots (OC)
1997 Oakland Raiders (OC)
1999 Cleveland Browns (TE)
2000Cleveland Browns (RB)
2012–2013 Jones County JC
2014 Oak Grove HS (MS) (volunteer) [1]
Head coaching record
Overall34–24–1 (college)
Bowls3–0
Accomplishments and honors
Awards

Walter Ray Perkins (November 6, 1941 – December 9, 2020) was an American football coach and player. He played as a wide receiver for the University of Alabama and Baltimore Colts. He later worked as a football coach for 28 years, including stints as the head coach for the New York Giants, the University of Alabama, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arkansas State University.

Contents

Early life and college career

Perkins was born in Petal, Mississippi. He attended The University of Alabama, playing football 1964–1966. He played for the legendary coach Bear Bryant and was a teammate of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. The Crimson Tide won national championships in both 1964 and 1965, and Southeastern Conference championships in 1964, 1965, and 1966. During his senior year, he was named team captain. He was also selected as an All-American in 1966.

NFL career

He played for the National Football League's Baltimore Colts as a wide receiver from 1967 to 1971, under coach Don Shula. Perkins caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the 1970 AFC Championship Game to lead the Colts to a 27–17 victory over the Oakland Raiders and a berth in Super Bowl V. Perkins went on to win a Super Bowl ring after the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.

Coaching career

Perkins coached in the NFL as an assistant for the New England Patriots (1974–1977) and San Diego Chargers (1978) before becoming head coach of the New York Giants from 1979 to 1982. Although he only had one winning season, he helped build the team that his successor, Bill Parcells, won two Super Bowls with in 1986 and 1990. Perkins hired future NFL head coaches Parcells, Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennel as young assistants, and was the first NFL coach for future Most Valuable Player and Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor and future Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Phil Simms.

Perkins accepted the immeasurable task of succeeding Bear Bryant as the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, when Bryant retired. He coached the Crimson Tide for four years from 1983 to 1986, compiling a record of 32–15–1 and winning three bowl games, but went 5–6 in 1984, the school's first losing season since 1957, the year before Bryant's tenure began. There was controversy from unsatisfied boosters and alumni at Alabama, and a lucrative contract offer from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led Perkins to leave Alabama for a second chance in the NFL after the 1986 Alabama season.

Perkins served as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987 to 1990. Some of his former college players got a chance to play for him in the NFL: QB Mike Shula, Kurt Jarvis, and linebacker Keith McCants. His career coaching record in the NFL was 42–75. He never won more than five games in Tampa Bay; his tenure came during an NFL-record streak of 12 consecutive 10-loss seasons. He was fired midway through the 1990 season, and replaced by his offensive coordinator, fellow Alabama alumnus Richard Williamson. Perkins returned to college coaching at Arkansas State University in 1992. After just one year, Perkins became the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, serving under Bill Parcells from 1993 to 1996. He also spent 1997 with the Oakland Raiders as an offensive coordinator. On December 20, 2011, he was introduced as the new head football coach at Jones County Junior College (JCJC) in Ellisville, Mississippi. [3] Perkins resigned from JCJC on December 24, 2013. [4] He resided in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 2014, he was said to be taking a volunteer coaching role with Oak Grove HS. [5]

Recruitment allegations

In 1992, former Alabama player Gene Jelks, who had been recruited by Perkins, publicly accused Alabama coaches and boosters of providing him with illegal cash payments and other inducements during his recruitment and years at Alabama (Jelks played from 1985 to 1989). Jelks's charges resulted in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) investigation of the Alabama football program. Perkins's former assistant coach Jerry Pullen sued Jelks for slander, but he lost that case and two subsequent appeals, including an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Death

Perkins died at his home on the morning of December 9, 2020, at 79 years old. [6]

Honors

Head coaching record

College

YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowl/playoffsCoaches#AP°
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference)(1983–1986)
1983 Alabama 8–44–2T–3rdW Sun 1215
1984 Alabama 5–62–4T–7th
1985 Alabama 9–2–14–1–1T–3rdW Aloha 1413
1986 Alabama 10–34–2T–2ndW Sun 99
Alabama:32–15–114–9–1
Arkansas State Indians (NCAA Division I-A independent)(1992)
1992 Arkansas State 2–9
Arkansas State:2–9
Total:34–24–1

NFL

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
NYG 1979 6100.3754th in NFC East
NYG 1980 4120.2505th in NFC East
NYG 1981 970.5633rd in NFC East11.500Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game
NYG 1982 450.44410th in NFC
NYG Total23340.40411.500
TB 1987 4110.2674th in NFC Central
TB 1988 5110.3133rd in NFC Central
TB 1989 5110.3135th in NFC Central
TB 1990 580.3852nd in NFC Central
TB Total19410.317
Total [7] 42750.35911.500

See also

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References

  1. http://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/high-school/2014/05/06/brett-favre-taking-reduced-role-oak-grove/8793295/
  2. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ray-perkins-2.html
  3. "Ray Perkins, 70, gets back in the game; Former coach at Alabama, NFL, retired since 2000, will now lead Jones County JC". The Clarion-Ledger . December 20, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  4. Shawn Wansley (December 24, 2013). "Ray Perkins resigns as JCJC head football coach". Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  5. http://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/high-school/2014/05/06/brett-favre-taking-reduced-role-oak-grove/8793295/
  6. Scarborough, Alex (December 9, 2020). "Former Alabama football coach Ray Perkins dies at 79". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  7. Ray Perkins Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks – Pro-Football-Reference.com