On Wednesday morning, the college football and NFL worlds lost a beloved figure when a longtime head coach passed away.
According to multiple reports, former Alabama and NFL head coach Ray Perkins passed away this week, just three days after his birthday. He was 79 years old.
Perkins started his college football career as a player for the Crimson Tide. After a brief stint in the NFL, the Mississippi native had the impossible task of taking over for legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Ryan Phillips of first reported the news of Perkins’ passing.
Sources at UA have informed me this morning of the passing of former Tide player and coach Ray Perkins three days after his 79th birthday. RIP coach. pic.twitter.com/YT6KkYqeWv
— Ryan Phillips (@JournoRyan) December 9, 2020
Perkins started his college football career in Tuscaloosa in 1963. He was a star receiver on teams featured a few of the best quarterbacks in college football history.
Those included Joe Namath, Steve Sloan and Ken Stabler. During his final season with the Tide, he was an All-American in 1966 when he caught 33 passes for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.
Perkins went on to play for and win a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts. Following his playing career, he took over as the head coach of the New York Giants.
After a rough stint with the Giants, Perkins took over for arguably the greatest coach in college football history. He led Alabama to a 32-15-1 record in four seasons as the Crimson Tide’s head coach.
Following that success, he went back to the NFL as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Our thoughts are with the Perkins family.
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