Former Head Football Coach John Perry enjoyed the five years he spent coaching and teaching at Kosciusko High School. A Pearl native, Perry was hired at his alma mater right out of college, and he later went to Wayne County and Northeast Community College before coming to Kosciusko.
“I had to find a job when the head coach at Northeast retired, and I was lucky enough to come to Kosciusko,” he said.
During his tenure at KHS, the football program earned a 40-21 record and played for the north half championship during his final year.
“We had a really good team, but we played Noxubee, and they were just a little bit better than us,” Perry remembered.
He has good memories of his players and teams in Kosciusko, but when his home called, he was ready to go. Leaving Kosciusko for Pearl, he was able to be head coach there for 12 years.
Last year, Perry and his wife, Stephanie, also a teacher, were able to retire in the state of Mississippi.
Once again, they moved, this time to Nixa, Missouri, north of Branson.
“We had never even been to Missouri, but we like it here and it’s been fun. Our original plan was to stay in Missouri for at least five years, but now our daughter and her husband are having a baby, and I’m not sure how long Stephanie can stand being eight hours away from the grandbaby!” he said with a laugh.
Still, the Perrys enjoy their work.
“We love what we do…teaching and coaching. We are not ready to go to the house yet,” said Perry.
When asked about the Skipworth Performing Arts Center, Perry was enthusiastic.
“Of course, I support the educational system and learning academic subjects. But extracurricular activities — whether it be fine arts, football, band — are where the majority of life lessons come from. For example, our son has chosen the theater route rather than athletics, and we are learning that fine arts and other extracurricular activities are molding young people to be successful in life,” Perry said.
To that end, the coach has established a leadership academy in Nixa.
“It started out with football, but theater and other activities have been added. It is important for kids to realize that no matter what avenue they fit in, it all helps them in learning how to be a good person,” he said. “If you take extracurricular away from schools, the opportunities to build character are greatly reduced. I support all fine arts, and I am really touched to have a chair in my honor at the Skipworth Center.”