• 72°

Hazlehurst selects Perry to boss football

HAZLEHURST — Former NFL great Vernon Perry was officiallyannounced as the new Hazlehurst head football coach Tuesday night.Perry, who was a defensive back in the National Football League,played for the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints during his10-year pro career.

Perry, 52, replaces Willie Brown who took the athletic directorand head coaching position at Greenville Weston in July 28.

The Indians, 13-0 last year, are the defending Class 3A statefootball champs and kick off their season Sept. 1 at WilkinsonCounty in Woodville.

“Coach Perry came very highly recommended and qualified,” saidHazlehurst athletic director Gary Tabor. “We are tickled to deathto have a man of his quality. We’re so excited to have him. Thekids have embraced him.”

Perry, who was coaching at Akron, Ala., is a graduate ofWingfield and Jackson State. He is a former SWAC All-American.

Perry still holds the record with four interceptions in a 1979AFC division game against the San Diego Chargers.

Hazlehurst has 60 players out. The assistant football coaches,two who are back from last year’s team, have been working with theplayers while a new head coach was being hired.

“Perry is going to be a great role model for the kids,” statedTabor. “We loved Coach Brown. But Perry is coming in. We expect tobe competitive. We expect to go a long way. Expectations are veryhigh.”

In other coaching news at Hazlehurst, former ninth grade boysbasketball coach Dennis Adams was promoted to girls head basketballcoach after the departure of Alfreda Craft to Brookhaven.

“We have very good coaches in our program,” added Tabor. “Wehave done well replacing them. We were fortunate to find goodpeople to come in.”