It’s all the rage now among college football’s elite programs and TCU has joined the fray.
The school will announce Friday the addition of longtime area football coach Kenny Perry as its director of high school football relations.
It’s a newly created position for the Horned Frogs, and one coach Gary Patterson has wanted for several years. The move to hire Perry had been in the works for several months but didn’t become official until Thursday evening.
Perry, 42, has been the head coach at Arlington Bowie High School since 2005. Before that, he was head coach at Haltom (2004-05) and Arlington Sam Houston (2000-03). Perry was earning about $100,000 as of January 2011 at Bowie, where he was also athletic coordinator.
“He knows a lot of people in the business across the state,” Patterson said. “He’s just a great football coach and we felt like he’d be a great addition to our staff. To be a high school liaison, you have to know a lot of people and Kenny Perry does.”
Perry’s job will include contacting high school coaches about recruits, handling visits from recruits and helping facilitate TCU players entering the NFL. The hiring comes on the heels of the departure of Danielle Bartelstein, who was the assistant director of football operations before leaving to take the director of football relations job at Texas Tech in January.
“No. 1, he’s always been close to the program,” Patterson said. “He wants to be a college coach. The guy has a wealth of experience. Texas high school coaches are very good football coaches in their own right. Kenny’s relationship with us has been a very good one over the years.”
During the season, Perry will be able to handle many of the weekly recruiting calls and visits that TCU coaches would normally have to squeeze into their already long days. Almost all of the schools in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference have added the position in the past few years, including Texas, which announced the addition last week before the Longhorns’ spring practice began.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Perry, who was set to return what he called the best team he’s ever had at Bowie. That included his son Keaton Perry, Bowie’s quarterback who will be a senior next fall. Perry also has a daughter.
“There’s no way I’d be doing this had it not been for Gary Patterson and [TCU’s] coaches,” Perry said. “I don’t want to sound corny, but I’m leaving my best friends, my son and my coaches.”
“We have to call recruits every week, everybody does,” Patterson said. “He’ll have more time to call coaches.”
Perry graduated from the University of Houston in 1993 and coached defensive backs at Arlington Lamar (his alma mater) for four seasons before taking over at Sam Houston, which went 1-9 in 2000. Perry helped turn the program around with three consecutive playoff appearances. Perry’s appointment will be integral to Patterson’s plan to ramp up recruiting from North Texas high schools.
“Coach [Patterson] knows what I want to do,” Perry said. “I think with the high school coaches we have here in the area and with what he’s trying to do, we want to be selfish. We want to put a gate around Dallas-Fort Worth and I’ll do everything in my power to do that.”