Thanks Coach!

I realize this is a little late, in part because of a lackadaisical Saturday, in another part because of work, but in most part because, well, I wanted the BG hockey story to stick around up top a little longer.

doyt perry

Saturday marked the 15th anniversary of the death of arguably (though not very well) the greatest Falcon that ever lived, Doyt Perry. I’ve done a bunch of research on Bowling Green’s football team over the past couple years for my pet project at BGSUsports.com, and every time I uncover something else about Doyt L. Perry, he amazes me even more.

Doyt was born in 1910, the same year that Bowling Green was created by the State of Ohio. He attended college at BG, receiving a degree in Secondary Education in 1933. He earned nine varsity letters in football, basketball and track, and at one point quarterbacked Falcon football to an 18-game unbeaten streak. Almost immediately after graduation, he took a teaching position at Lorain Clearview HS in northeast Ohio, a school without a football team. Having been denied a teaching/coaching job at another school due to a lack of football coaching experience, Doyt took matters into his own hands and created a football team at Clearview. They won the conference title in their first year.

Doyt served in the US Navy for three years, one year after taking a coaching job at Upper Arlington HS in suburban Columbus, Ohio. When he returned from his tour of duty in World War II, he had the Bears back winning titles. Eventually, he took a job with Ohio State, coaching the offensive backfield. At the end of the 1954 season, Ohio State was national champions, thanks in no small part to Perry’s coaching, but his alma mater had an opening coming around. A chance to be in charge of football for his alma mater was bigger to Doyt than continuing at Ohio State, even as a top assistant at a big school powerhouse.

Doyt’s loyalties to BG would be tested two years after his return to Northwest Ohio. After leading BG to its first MAC Championship in 1956, Missouri offered him their head coaching job. A chance to run a major program is one that most coaches would jump on, Perry stayed loyal to his alma mater, and coached 8 more seasons before becoming Athletic Director for the school. In 1959, he led the Falcons to the College Division National Championship, and upon retiring from coaching, was one of the winningest coaches in college football history.

His players respected him, his fellow coaches admired him, and Falcons everywhere can be proud to call Doyt one of ours.

He passed away eight months before I enrolled at Bowling Green, and when I got to campus, he was just an old coach who’s name was on the football field. I only wish I knew then what I know about Doyt L. Perry.

Thanks coach.

doyt perry's tombstone

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