College football coach
Perry on winning track
(February 2006) If youre a football
fan and have spent any amount of time in Indiana, chances are youve
heard of the legendary Tony Hinkle, the former football coach at Butler
University and Hall of Famer. Up until Oct. 1, 2005, Hinkle was the
winningest college football coach in Indiana on all levels.
by Michella Marino
Perry has surprised
even himself with his winning ways.
But on Oct. 1, Coach C. Wayne Perry, Hanover Colleges
head football coach, surpassed Hinkles 165 wins to become the
new record holder. Perry and his Panthers defeated the College of Mount
St. Joseph in an overtime victory to clinch the record. Although Perry
will go down in the record books as the winningest coach, if you talk
to anyone who knows him, theyll say hes so much more than
Perry graduated from Madison High School in 1968 and then headed north
to DePauw University, where he played college football for four years
and was an All-American. After graduation, he stayed on as a graduate
assistant for two more years. He then proceeded to coach high school
football at East Central High School before heading back to the college
arena in 1979. He was an assistant coach at Hanover College for three
years before taking over the head coaching position in 1982, becoming
the youngest head coach in the state. His story is history from there.
Perrys current overall coaching record is 168-72-2, but in the
past 24 seasons he never, ever thought about (breaking the record).
When he first started coaching, he would set goals to win games. He
started out with the goal of winning 50, then 100, and then 150, but
it was not his intention to break the record.
Once his program accomplished the 150 mark, the buzz began about Perrys
possible run on the record. However, Perry said, Its not
my award. Its the programs milestone.
He considers it an accomplishment to do something no one else
has done but claims that it was a group effort all along. He considers
it a privilege to have his name at the top but again believes that its
a total program milestone.
When asked about his secret to success, Perry responded with two things:
No. 1 is hiring good coaches. No. 2 is recruiting good players.
Perry knows that one man cannot do everything alone so he delegates
responsibilities to his coaching staff.
I used to make all the calls, but now I dont make any,
he said. His job is to organize the game and make the administrative
decisions during the game such as what to do in fourth down situations
and talking with the officials. Along with trusting his coaching staff
and giving them responsibilities, he knows his success is up to his
players as well.
Its not the Xs and Os, its the Jimmys
and Joes, meaning coaches can run what they want, but the players
must have the ability and talent to execute the plays and make things
Perry considers himself a players coach because he listens to
his players and is always responsive to their concerns. He also wants
his players to be No. 1 in whatever they do, whether it is on or off
the field. He feels that he works with the cream of the crop everyday,
and he knows that the football players at Hanover College make sacrifices
to play at the Division 3 level. Hanover has high academic standards,
so Perry realizes hes dealing with smart athletes. Perry said
that this can be advantageous when he makes adjustments on the
run because the players can adapt. His players work hard for 12
months a year, and they devote so much of their precious time to playing.
Many people dont understand it, he said.
Many of Perrys former players turn to coaching after their years
at Hanover, and many even return to Perrys staff. Perry attributes
this to the tradition, success, and positive experience they obtained
at Hanover. Coaches who presently fit this description are Terry Peebles,
Class of 1996, and Steve Baudendistel, Class of 2001.
Peebles is Hanovers Offensive Coordinator and played quarterback
for Perry. He was a part of the first undefeated team and led the Panthers
to their first-ever trip to the NCAA playoffs. Peebles always had an
interest in coaching, but prior to playing at Hanover, he thought he
wanted to be a high school football coach. While playing for Perry and
his staff, he saw what they did and realized they had fun while doing
High School coaches were always worried about so many other factors,
Peebles said, and he didnt see in them the same unique intensity
that Perry had. Peebles said he admired the way Perry balanced his duties
as a father and a coach.
Baudendistel, the Special Teams Coordinator and Outside Linebackers
Coach, wasnt even interested in coaching before he got to Hanover.
He wanted to go to law school. However, while playing at Hanover, Baudendistels
future interests changed, and he claims that Perrys football program
exemplifies how a program should be. Baudendistel said he respects the
simplicity Perry brings to the game.
Both Peebles and Baudendistel say Perrys new record will help
the program in the future. Its puts him in a class by himself,
He believes that more high school coaches will recognize the quality
program Perry runs and will want to send their players to the Hanover
program. Peebles said Perrys record legitimizes Hanover
and puts us on the pedestal with other great
Peebles added, Coach Perry is as good of a guy as youll
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