Former University of Alabama football coach Ray Perkins died this morning at his home in Northport, Ala, his family told AL.com.
Ray Perkins, 79, coached at the pro and college levels for over 40 years. He is best known among college football fans as the man who succeeded Paul “Bear” Bryant as head coach at Alabama.
Perkins had been dealing with heart issues for a couple years.
Perkins coached the Crimson Tide for four seasons from 1983-1986 and put together a record of 32-15-1 during that time, including a 3-0 record in bowl games. He eventually left Alabama following the 1986 season and signed a lucrative contract to take the head coaching job with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Before Perkins, a native of Petal, Miss., took the Alabama job following the 1982 season he was head coach of the New York Giants. Perkins’ successor with the Giants, Bill Parcells, would go on to win two Super Bowls. Perkins’ coaching tree includes Parcells, Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennell.
He was later head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arkansas State University. After leaving Arkansas State, he spent time in the Mississippi junior college ranks, coaching at Jones County Junior College. In two years at JCJC, Perkins guided the Bobcats to a 15-5 record.
From 1964-66 he was a wide receiver at Alabama. During this time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama compiled a 30-2-1 record, including two national championships and three SEC titles. As a senior, he was team captain, SEC Player of the Year, and All-American. He played in two Orange Bowls and one Sugar Bowl, and set records in both. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and played five years there. He played in Super Bowl III in 1969 and Super Bowl V in 1971 when the Colts were Super Bowl champions.
Last season, the SEC honored Perkins as one of its “SEC Legends.”
This story will be updated.