After 41 years of coaching and 10 years of leading the Indians, Wetumpka head football coach Tim Perry has decided to call it a career.
Perry announced his retirement to his football team after Wetumpka’s first-round loss to Saraland two weeks ago. He ends his Wetumpka career with a 69-49 overall record with the Indians and a 9-9 playoff record.
He helped lead the Indians to a 13-2 record and a Class 6A state championship appearance in 2017. His squads went 5-6 in each of the last two seasons. Perry also serves as Wetumpka’s athletic director, and he will serve in that role until the end of the current school year.
“It’s really bittersweet,” Perry said. “I still love to coach and I love Wetumpka football. I’ll always love Wetumpka football. I still have a passion for coaching and working with young men and other coaches. But I just felt like this was the right time to step away. It’s hard to put into words, but I just felt like it was just time. It wasn’t an easy or quick decision.”
Perry is a seasoned veteran in the coaching ranks. He began his career 41 years ago in 1980, and he’s coached in both the high school and college ranks across four different states.
He began his career in Memphis, where he served for five years before he took the head coaching job at Alabama Christian from 1985-1988. He then left the state of Alabama and went to Louisiana to coach with his college teammates for two years.
After his two seasons there, Perry came back to Alabama Christian and served there from 1991-2000. During his entire Alabama Christian tenure, his teams accumulated a 73-73 overall record with a 3-6 playoff record.
In 2001, he took a job at Central Arkansas Christian in Little Rock, Arkansas, and spent seven years as the head coach there. His team won the 2004 state championship and returned to the state championship in 2005, but lost.
Following his seven years there, he took a job as the offensive coordinator at Harding University, but left after two years due to missing coaching at the high school level. He then took the head coaching job at Wetumpka, where he has coached for the last 10 years.
So with coaching football for the last 41 years and being around football for the last 50+ years, the decision to retire wasn’t an easy for one Perry. But he said if there was ever going to be a right time, this was it.
“Wetumpka high school is a great place and the football program is a really good program,” Perry said. “I was blessed to be a part of it. It has great tradition from all the previous coaches that have built it, and it was just an honor and a privilege for me to be a part of it for 10 years.”
No single individual factor played into Perry’s decision. But one thing that did, he said, is the hours that are required to continue to be successful. The hours aren’t an issue for him, but the hours that are required to be effective are a lot for any coach.
Plus Perry’s parents, both of which are in their 80s, have relocated from West Virginia to Destin, Florida. Perry said he has not been able to spend as much time with them and his family as he would have liked over the last 41 years, so he and his wife decided if any time was right, it is now.
Perry plans to still reside in the Wetumpka area and stay involved in the community, and he isn’t closing the book on coaching in the future as well. He will entertain opportunities if they arise and he feels good about.
“If I can help a program in some way, I would be interested,” Perry said. “Right now, it just felt like the time was right to step away from it for a little while.”