Ray Perkins

Walter Ray Perkins (born December 6, 1941) is an American football coach and former player. He most recently was the head football coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi from 2011 to 2013. 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.

Ray Perkins
Biographical details
Born (1941-12-06) December 6, 1941
Petal, Mississippi
Alma materAlabama
Playing career
1967–1971Baltimore Colts
Position(s)Wide receiver
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973Mississippi State (assistant)
1974–1977New England Patriots (WR)
1978San Diego Chargers (OC)
1979–1982New York Giants
1987–1990Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1992Arkansas State
1993–1996New England Patriots (OC)
1997Oakland Raiders (OC)
1999Cleveland Browns (TE)
2000Cleveland Browns (RB)
2012–2013Jones County JC
2014–presentOak Grove HS (MS) (volunteer)[1]
Head coaching record
Overall34–24–1 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (1990)

Early life and playing 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.

  • 1964: 11 catches for 139 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • 1965: 19 catches for 279 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • 1966: 33 catches for 490 yards and 7 touchdowns.[2]

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 in 1986 and 1990. Perkins hired future NFL head coaches Parcells, Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennel as young assistants.

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 currently resides in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 2014, he was said to be taking a volunteer coaching role with Oak Grove HS.[5]


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.



Ray Perkins's teammate on the 1970 Colts team was Bill Curry, who played center. Curry would replace Perkins as the head coach at Alabama.

Perkins coached Mike Shula at Alabama, and also for one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shula was later hired as an assistant coach of the Buccaneers (1996–1999). Shula became a successor of Perkins's at Alabama as the head football coach there in 2003–2006.

Perkins was the first offensive coordinator for Don Coryell during Coryell's tenure with the San Diego Chargers. His replacement was Joe Gibbs.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (1983–1986)
1983 Alabama 8–44–2T–3rdW Sun1215
1984 Alabama 5–62–4T–7th
1985 Alabama 9–2–14–1–1T–3rdW Aloha1413
1986 Alabama 10–34–2T–2ndW Sun99
Alabama: 32–15–114–9–1
Arkansas State Indians (NCAA Division I-A independent) (1992)
1992 Arkansas State 2–9
Arkansas State: 2–9


TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
NYG1979 6100.3754th in NFC East
NYG1980 4120.2505th in NFC East
NYG1981 970.5633rd in NFC East11.500Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game
NYG1982 450.44410th in NFC
NYG Total23340.40411.500
TB1987 4110.2674th in NFC Central
TB1988 5110.3133rd in NFC Central
TB1989 5110.3135th in NFC Central
TB1990 580.3852nd in NFC Central
TB Total19410.317

Coaching tree

Perkins has worked under six head coaches:

See also


Ray Perkins at Pro-Football-Reference.com

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