Friday, January 14, 2005
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Former Alabama head football coach and athletics director Ray Perkins will be inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame in ceremonies during bowl week. He will be joined in the Class of 2005 by former Auburn and NFL kicking legend Al Del Greco and Pro Bowl offensive guard Larry Allen of the Dallas Cowboys.
Perkins, Del Greco and Allen will be formally inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by Mobile Gas and Regions Bank, at a reception Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Country Club of Mobile. They will also be introduced on the field during pregame ceremonies on Jan. 29.
"I have been to the Senior Bowl many times in many different capacities over the years," Perkins said " and it will be very special to be back this year for the Hall of Fame.
"The biggest thing I love about coming to the Senior Bowl is really not the games. It's the remarkable people, all of the volunteers who create that special atmosphere and the hospitality. They always make you feel appreciated and that they are genuinely glad to see you. I'm certainly looking forward to coming back this year."
Perkins, who lettered in 1964, 1965 and 1966, played wide receiver on three Southeastern Conference championship teams and two national championship teams at Alabama. He capped his senior year with 178 yards receiving in the Crimson Tide's 34-7 Sugar Bowl win over Nebraska.
He played in the 1967 Senior Bowl, catching three passes for 44 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass, in the South's 35-13 loss.
Perkins was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and played in the NFL for five years, including appearances in Super Bowls III and V.
After his playing career, Perkins established himself as a head coach, starting with the New York Giants from 1979-82. He coached the South in the 1980 Senior Bowl and owns the dubious distinction of being the losing coach in the most lopsided defeat in the game's history, falling 57-3 to a North squad coached by Vikings icon Bud Grant.
For Crimson Tide fans, Perkins will always be remembered as the man who followed Paul "Bear" Bryant as Alabama's head coach, compiling a 32-15-1 record and three bowl victories from 1983-86. He followed that with a stint as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as head coach at Arkansas State and some NFL assistant coaching stops.
"We have Alabama season tickets and we try to make it to as many games as possible," said Perkins, who recently built a house and settled in Hattiesburg, Miss. "I enjoy keeping up with them. I know they are having a good recruiting year. I miss recruiting. People probably won't believe it, but recruiting was one of my favorite things."
"When you consider that our Hall of Fame represents just two percent of over 3,700 outstanding collegiate and NFL stars who have played in the Senior Bowl since 1950, it puts into perspective just how special this group really is," said Senior Bowl president Steve Hale.