By Hank Bond
The Greenup Beacon
Russell High School Principal Anna Chaffin announced that John Michael Perry has been named as the Head Girls’ Soccer Coach at Russell High School.
Perry is a 2003 graduate of Russell High School, where he played soccer. He played collegiate soccer at EKU where he earned a degree in Psychology.
He was a member of the coaching staff of the girls’ team for the past year. Perry is assisting boys’ soccer coach Marty Torgrimson with the EKFC high school girls.
Coach Perry and wife, Kristina they have one child, Owen. They are expecting a second child in July.
Perry is the son of John D. Perry and Debra L. Perry (Debbie). He was born in Huntington and raised in Flatwoods. Except for college and one year he has lived in this area.
The Russell graduated earned a degree in 2009 from Eastern Kentucky.
Perry says he is on target in his coaching career.
“I am where I am today partially due to a realized passion for the game of soccer and the desire to promote it to younger generations, and the support of that passion by family and friends.
“I became interested in the head coaching position with the Lady Devils after my stint with them during the 2016 season as an assistant under Head Coach Joe Grizzle.” Grizzle.
“Preparing for this opportunity has been in the “works” for a number of years through playing for and with a number of great players and coaches,” he explained.
“The opportunity to work closely with coach Joe Grizzle this past season has been tremendous. He graciously took me under his wing, showing me that being a head coach is much more than donning the hat and whistle,” he added.
Going forward Perry knows there is always a learning curve and the opportunity to add knowledge.
“In my experience there is always something to learn. For this reason, I try to surround myself with as many positive influences as possible.
“Acquainting myself with other coaches and players exposes different philosophies of the game and coaching and continues to enhance my personal philosophies and visions.”
Perry does have a life outside of soccer – and some important responsibilities.
“Aside from soccer, my main project is my family. My wife and I currently have one son and are expecting another in July. Other than them and a round of golf here and there, I do not have interest for much else.”
And the future for Perry is defined.
“My long-term goals for the program are to continue the team’s success. Lady Devils’ Soccer is well known, not only throughout the immediate region, but also throughout much of the rest of Kentucky.
“The talent and effort of our student athletes is deserving of statewide recognition and I plan to make sure that recognition continues.”
In getting to the top spot at Russell Perry has had some help.
“Coach Joe Grizzle has been tremendous in his support as I aspired to become his predecessor.
“We both share a passion for the evolution of game of soccer in our area and the Russell Tradition and we want the best for both. He has been a great influence.
“Above all, without the support of my family I would not be where I am. They have recognized my passion and supported me in my pursuit.
“I enjoy the complexity of soccer. The game forces physical strength and endurance, as well as mental strength and endurance, so it pushes every student athlete to their limits and asks for more.
Coaching is much the same. Conveying the game on a level that every player can relate to and understand is the challenge, but once you finally break through and experience the evolution of a player, that is thrilling.”
Perry’s goals are definitive.
“The goals I have as the new Head Coach for the Lady Devils Soccer program will only be realized with the support from the players, parents, school and community. A coach is not much on his own.”