The Interview – Kermit Perry


(You could probably call Kermit Perry “Mr. Sports.” He has done just about everything from being a track and football coach at Darlington In Rome and Richmond Academy in Augusta; to director of recreation for Coweta County; to assistant athletics director at the University of Georgia and Auburn University.)

Briefly describe yourself and what you do.

Today, I am happily retired after a career involving recreation, coaching and SEC Athletics administration. Being involved with young folks and athletics has kept me current and active in the community. Presently, I enjoy serving on the board for the Coweta Sports Hall of Fame and playing golf at White Oak.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.

Seek the advice of those you respect, but don’t be afraid to implement new ideas

If I had it to do over …

I would change very little. Each experience brought valuable lifelong friendships and contributed professionally to my career.

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?

Alan Jackson – “Precious Memories,” Patsy Cline – “Live at the Opry,” Johnny Cash – “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

The Bible, the latest John Grisham book, Band of Brothers

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know

I play the piano. Stopped taking lessons in ninth grade because it conflicted with football practice.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why

My father, Coach “Spec” Towns, Jesse Owens, Joe DiMaggio, Jerry Clower, my son. It would be an evening filled with respect, appreciation, admiration and laughter.

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream

Qualifying for the 1956 Olympics as a high hurdler. My opportunity was abandoned due to being hospitalized from food poisoning the night before qualifying races.

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …

If I wasn’t involved in athletics, I would have enjoyed teaching on the college level.

Your go-to food.

The Varsity, two chili dogs and a PC

Dogs or cats?

Dogs! I share my bed with my wife, Betsy, and a ten-pound Shih tzu … both whom I love dearly.

Your favorite quote and why

“As long as you are green, you’ll continue to grow. But once you’re ripe. You begin to decay.” Coach “Spec” Towns. Coach Towns’ high expectations and encouragement were primarily responsible for my accomplishments both on and off the track.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own

Attack your goals with passion and enthusiasm. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe.


  1. Britt Madden 19 July, 2017 at 02:06 Reply
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    Great interview. I enjoyed reading it.Good advice.

  2. dick stansell 11 December, 2021 at 06:55 Reply

    Coach Perry, you probably remember me. I played football at Tifton County High School in 1962, 63, 64. Just wanted thank you for that time in my life. Much respect for you as a coach and person. Very good role model (you, coach Smith, and coach Broadway).

    Little Hatchett

  3. Mike Ayers 26 February, 2022 at 15:03 Reply

    Are you the Kermit Perry who used to referee Basketball games for Oglethorpe? I was their manager, known as Chicken Man!

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