Ray Perkins, who caught touchdown passes from Steve Sloan, Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler, is back in Tuscaloosa where his daughter now works for Alabama football coach Nick Saban.
The man who once said he would “walk to Tuscaloosa” to follow Paul “Bear” Bryant as coach of the Crimson Tide told Alabama NewsCenter he has bought a house and moved in.
Rachael Perkins, who studies at the university on a Bear Bryant scholarship, helps Saban in football as a recruiting student assistant.
Perkins had nice things to say about scholarships that Bryant set up for former players and their sons and daughters.
“Coach Bryant had already made a list of people from Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama and asked them to start raising money to pay for scholarships to the sons and daughters of his players,” Perkins said. “Now who else would have thought to do that?”
Alabama won two national championships and three SEC championships when Perkins played in 1964, ‘65 and ‘66. Freshman were not eligible to play on the varsity then.
What does the man who played for and succeeded arguably the best coach of all time think about the coach many believe has surpassed the legend?
“I think he takes advantage of every little thing,” Perkins said of Saban.
“Here’s where I’m coming from: I’ve always been of the opinion that my job as a coach was to help the guys who play the game.”
Perkins, now 76 years old, said he enjoyed his years in football, playing and coaching the game.
He was a team captain and an All-American in 1966 and a draft choice of the Baltimore Colts, where he joined another outstanding quarterback in Johnny Unitas.
Perkins caught a 68-yard touchdown from “Johnny U” in the 1970 American Football Conference championship game as the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders to earn a berth in the Super Bowl.
He grew up in Petal, Mississippi, and most recently was head football coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi.
Now that he is back in Alabama, Perkins has a house in the town where he is remembered for national championships, touchdown passes and his days playing for the Bear.