Tim Perry returns to ACA in new role at school

Former Wetumpka High football coach Tim Perry, who spent 14 years in the same capacity at Alabama Christian Academy, will join ACA in a new role starting on July 1.

Tim Perry wasn’t quite ready to retire, but there was probably only one school out there that could lure him into a new challenge.

The former Wetumpka High football coach will make his return at Alabama Christian Academy on July 1 in the newly created position of athletic advancement.

“I know the school,” he said. “I know it’s changed. I know I’ve been away for a while, but the basic foundation of the school has not changed. There are still a lot of people there that were there when I was there.”

Perry served as the athletic director and head football coach at the school in 1985-88 and 1991-2000. His return was welcome news to one of his former players, head football coach Michael Summers.

“Your high school coach always has a special place with you,” Summers said. “I love him and respect him about as much as I can respect anybody. This is home for him.

“The first call I made when I got the job was to Danny Madison, who is my DB and strength coach. And the second call I made was to Tim Perry, when he was still at Wetumpka. I told him when you get ready to step away, I want you to call me before you call anybody. I’m going to try and aggravate him enough that he’ll eventually come out there” to the football field as an assistant coach.

Perry was quick to point out, however, that his new position included no on-the-field responsibilities.

“My responsibilities are going to be 75 percent development and 25 percent athletic,” he said. “Now, as far as the 25 percent athletic, I’m going to serve as a resource to the coaching staffs. I’m not the athletic director, they have a fine young athletic director. I’m not going to be coaching.”

The 75 percent development, he added, “is helping to raise funds, it’s helping reconnect with a lot of the alumni to the school,” he said. “Harriett Parker is over the alumni association and has done that for years and is really very good at it, but we want to make that even stronger.”

Perry said he was first contacted about the job by ACA head of school Greg Glenn, although it took some time for Glenn to create the position. The ACA administrator, a longtime friend of Perry, got in touch with the football coach last winter after Perry announced he was stepping down as the football coach at Wetumpka High.

“He and I first met in the mid-1990s when he came with Tom Kelsey to Montgomery as an assistant basketball coach at Faulkner University,” Perry said. “After a couple of years, he left Faulkner and became the head basketball coach at Montgomery Academy. We went to church together and a group of us used to play pickup basketball games.

“Since he came back to Montgomery, we’ve talked. When I announced my retirement, he had reached out to me and had a plan and wanted to visit me about it. He talked to me about a position he had created.”

Glenn was enthusiastic about the opportunity to add Perry to the school staff.

“His name is synonymous with excellence,” Glenn said. “In athletics and in spiritual development, he has tirelessly worked to build students into the adults that our world needs -- humble, achievement-oriented, team-minded, confident and Christ-like. His heart and his passion to serve are going to be well received on this campus.  Tim also comes to us with a rich spiritual maturity and depth of insight well equipped to train our young people to be spiritual warriors. He, alongside (athletic director) Aaron Greenwood, will be speaking directly into our coaches, who in turn will speak into our players.”

Perry’s name is synonymous with Alabama Christian as well. The second-year coach led the Eagles to their first-ever playoff berth in 1986 with one of the better teams in school history. The 8-3 season included two losses to John Tatum’s Montgomery Academy team, including one in the second round of the state playoffs.

Two years later, the Eagles were 8-3 again, losing to Trinity and Montgomery Academy in the regular season and to first-year coach Jackie O’Neal at Reeltown in the second round of the playoffs.

He returned as the head coach in 1991, serving through 2000 before leaving the state for a head coaching position at Central Arkansas Christian School, where he led the Mustangs to the state title in 2004.

He stepped down from that position in 2008 to become the offensive coordinator at Harding University for two years, then returned to the River Region in 2012 as the head coach at Wetumpka High, replacing Chad Anderson.

Perry coached the Indians for 10 years, including a trip to the 6A finals in 2017 and the 6A semifinals in 2018. His final team this past year marked his 41st season as a coach, where he compiled a 210-141-1 record.

The new job, he admits, will send him into uncharted territory as he adjusts to a variety of school improvements planned by Glenn.

“He’s got some projects for the school and he needs some help,” Perry said. “He reached out to me because of all my years at ACA. I was looking for something. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do something.

“I’m intrigued by it, excited about it. It’s something I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to working with the people at ACA and reconnecting with a lot of former players I was fortunate enough to coach at ACA.”