JCJC's Ray Perkins Uses NFL Pedigree to Mentor Players - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

JCJC's Ray Perkins Uses NFL Pedigree to Mentor Players

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Meet Ray Perkins - a more prepared coach heading into year two.

"This year I feel a lot more comfortable, and I feel more ready to go," says Jones County Junior College head football coach Ray Perkins of the upcoming season.

At this time last year, the 71-year old was stepping into unfamiliar territory.

"It's a lot different, first of all coming in and never been in a junior college setting and the way they do things, and so I was pretty much lost a lot last year, and I'd do some fast trying to catch up but I never did probably," says Perkins.

As head coach of the New York Giants from 1979 to 1982, and the chosen successor to Bear Bryant at Alabama in 1983, Perkins brings high profile pedigree to JCJC.

Perkins had most recently coached as an assistant for the Cleveland Browns, before retiring in 1999.

He stayed retired for 12 years, and then the phone rang.

"What brought me back to coaching was Jesse Smith," says Perkins. "A phone call one day - and he just asked me if I wanted to talk about football and I said, 'yeah', and before the day was over I think I was pretty much a coach again."

"We were really shocked that he even had some interest, so the first thing we did was say, 'hey you're an NFL coach, this is a junior college, and will that even fit'," says JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith.

Perkins at the helm did fit, to the tune of a 6-3 record in his first season with the Bobcats.

But as year two quickly approaches, Perkins' mindset transcends wins and losses.

"You're talking about helping them build dreams - building real dreams that they can make come true," says Perkins.

"He's talked about a lot of famous people that have made it, making me want to have that vision to be able to make it to," says JCJC sophomore running back Justin Harris.

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