ELLISVILLE – Former Jones College head football coach Ray Perkins died at his home in Northport, Alabama, Wednesday morning (December 9).
He had just turned 79, having had a birthday on December 6.
Perkins was the head coach of the Bobcats in 2012-13, compiling a 15-5 record. In 2013, he was named the MACJC South Coach of the Year, leading JCJC to its first MACJC South Division title since 2001 and its first appearance in the MACJC championship game since 2007. JCJC finished at 9-2 and was ranked No. 8 in the final NJCAA poll.
Perkins, a wide receiver, starred at Petal High School and would go on to play for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama from 1964-66. He helped the Crimson Tide win national championships in 1964-65 and Southeastern Conference championships from 1964-66.
He would play for the Baltimore Colts from 1967-71, helping the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V.
Perkins began his coaching career as an assistant at Mississippi State in 1973 and then went to coach for the New England Patriots from 1974-77. He was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 1978 before taking over as head coach of the New York Giants in 1979.
He left the Giants after the 1982 season to succeed Bryant as Alabama’s head coach in 1983. Perkins compiled a 32-15-1 record in four years as head coach of the Crimson Tide, leading them to three bowl game wins.
He resigned from Alabama to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987-90.
After a year out of football, Perkins served as head coach at Arkansas State in 1992 before returning to the NFL as offensive coordinator for the Patriots from 1993-96. He would serve as offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders in 1997 and as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns in 1999-2000.
After several years out of football, Perkins was named coach of the Bobcats in December of 2011.
Jones went 6-3 in 2012 before claiming the division title in 2013. He served as a volunteer coach at Oak Grove High School in 2014.
Numerous assistant coaches under Perkins would become NFL head coaches, including Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennel.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.