New coach a man of discipline, faith

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2004

As he talks to new recruits in a friendly, jovial voice on his cellular phone, Timothy Perry appears more of an ambassador than the new head football coach at Concordia College.

Then again, it won’t be football season for another 13 months.

On June 1, Perry took the reigns of the newly organized Concordia College football program that will begin play in 2005. A majority of Perry’s time is currently focused on recruiting players for the opening season. When the team is assembled and practices officially begin, however, Perry’s demeanor will take on that of a man focused on discipline and ready to win.

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“Oh, I’m very big on discipline,” Perry said. “I’m here to change attitudes. I want the kids who come here and play football to understand that I want them to be all they can be.”

As a high school football player at Ensley High School in Birmingham, Perry learned quite a few of life’s lessons from his days on the football field. He played offensive guard during his prep career before graduating in 1989.

From there, Perry attended Alabama A&M University, where he was a teammate of current Southside High School head football coach Chris Raymond. Perry’s college gridiron career, however, ended his first season due to a recurring knee injury he suffered in high school.

The injury ended Perry’s playing days, but did little to subdue his love for football. He became defensive line coach at Phillips-Carver High School in Birmingham from 1999-2002. Perry became the school’s head football coach last season, leading a team that had finished 1-9 in 2002 to a 6-4 mark in his only season at the helm. Perry’s efforts garnered him City of Birmingham High School Coach of the Year honors.

With his tough approach to football, it’s no secret that Perry expects discipline and respect from his players. He also requires it from his coaches and from himself. Perry said neither he, nor his coaches or players would ever use profanity on the practice or playing field.

“This is an institution of learning,” he said, “not an institution of learning how to curse.

“My toughest job as a coach,” Perry added, “will be to keep the players’ noses clean and keep them out of trouble. I’m ready for the challenge.”

Challenges will be many for Perry and his coaching staff prior to the start of next season. The new coach has already involved his recruits in a weight-training program, while he continues in his quest to get more local high school football players to come to Concordia College.

Perry said no matter how talented the players are on the football field, he wants them to be equally dedicated in the classroom.

“We’re looking for serious students who also want to be serious athletes,” Perry said.

The new players at Concordia College can follow that example shown by their coach. Along with his Bachelor of Science in Biology he earned from Alabama A&M, Perry also has a handful of other degrees. His resume includes a Masters degree in Secondary Education, a Mortuary Sciences degree from Gupton Jones College in Decatur, Ga., and an Administration degree from Samford University in Birmingham.

“I want the kids to have something to fall back on,” Perry said. “You will not play football for the rest of your life. We’re bringing in these students to learn first and play football second.”

His players’ classroom studies may take center stage for Perry, but he also expects the players to perform just as well on the field. Perry is a man of faith, and it’s his faith that will not allow him to use the excuse of heading a first-year program.

“A 10-0 record would be acceptible our first year,” he said. “I don’t have a mediocre God. Why should I have a mediocre football team?

“I expect the players to come out and work hard,” Perry added. “You’re not just a Jeff or Todd anymore. You have Concordia College on your chest. I want to put God in this program and have that change attitudes.”