PRINCETON RECRUITING AREAS — Illinois; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont; Northern New Jersey
James Perry, the all-time leading passer in Ivy League history, will begin his fourth season as the offensive coordinator at Princeton in 2013 and continues to bring his style of fast and physical football to Old Nassau.
Last season, Perry coached an offense that used two sophomore quarterbacks and guided it to the No. 2 spot in the Ivy League scoring offense rankings, despite not having a single first-team All-Ivy League offensive player. In arguably its most impressive quarter in decades, Princeton scored 29 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally past undefeated Harvard for a 39-34 victory; that helped Princeton to a Big Three sweep and its first bonfire since 2006.
Connor Michelsen, who started the first nine games before suffering an injury against Yale, was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week after the Harvard win, while Quinn Epperly started the season finale and is a former Ivy League Rookie of the Week. The tandem combined for 18 touchdowns (12 passing, six rushing); the prior season, Princeton quarterbacks accounted for 10.
“James Perry is not only one of the elite players ever in our league, but he has distinguished himself well as a coach," head coach Bob Surace said. "We went through a tremendous number of quality candidates, but James stood out as somebody with the passion and values I was looking for.”
In his first four weeks of the 2010 season, prior to a season-ending injury to two-year starting quarterback Tommy Wornham, Princeton had the top-ranked wide receiver in the FCS (Trey Peacock) and the 12th-ranked player in total offense (Wornham). Two seasons ago, Princeton posted the top-ranked rushing offense in the Ivy League; Ivy League Rookie of the Year Chuck Dibilio suffered a stroke in the offseason and was unavailable for the 2012 season.
Perry, a former Ivy League Player of the Year and quarterback for the 1999 Brown Ivy League championship squad, came to Princeton after spending three years as a highly successful offensive assistant coach at his alma mater. Perry coached the quarterbacks and was recently named the recruiting coordinator at Brown.
In three years with the Bears coaching staff, Perry helped the Bears win an Ivy League title while guiding quarterback Michael Dougherty into one of the top quarterbacks in the Ivy League football history. Dougherty wrapped up his Brown career with 487 career completions, eighth best in Ivy football history, and 5,763 career passing yards, 11th best in the Ivy record book. In addition, Dougherty’s 5,914 career yards in total offense rank 14th in the Ivy record book, while his 38 career TD passes are 13th in Ivy history. He also finished 17th in the Ivy record book in completion percentage (.583), completing 487 of 835 career passes.
When Dougherty graduated in 2009, Perry helped Kyle Newhall to a first-team All-Ivy season of his own. Newhall completed 259 of 413 passes for 2,709 yards and 18 touchdowns to lead the Ivy League, and he ranked second in the nation in completions (25.9 per game), 10th in total offense (281.4 yards per game) and 12th nationally in passing yards (270.9 yards per game).
In his three years at Brown, Perry’s offense scored 33, 31 and 34 points against Princeton, respectively, and won all three games.
As an undergraduate at Brown, Perry led the Bears to the Ivy League championship in 1999, and holds virtually every school and Ivy League passing record, including passing yards in a season (3,255) and career (9,294), completions in a season (309) and career (789), touchdown passes in a game (6) and career (74), and total offense in a career (9,236). He threw for over 400 yards in a game six times during his career.
He was a Walter Payton Award Finalist as a senior and won the Bulger Lowe Award as the Outstanding Offensive Player in New England. A three-time first team All-Ivy selection, Perry was also named the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet of the Year Award recipient. He was named the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior in 1999 when he threw for 3,255 yards and 27 touchdowns and led the school to its second league title in school history. Following his college career, he spent the 2001 season in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League.
A 2000 graduate of Brown with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Perry went on to earn a Master’s degree in Education Policy & Leadership from the University of Maryland in 2006.
Perry comes to Brown from the University of Delaware, where he coached the running backs for the 2006 season. The Blue Hens offense flourished with Perry’s assistance, ranking in the top five in the conference and among the NCAA I-AA leaders in passing offense, total offense, and scoring offense.
As a graduate assistant with the offense in 2004 and 2005 at the University of Maryland, Perry worked two seasons under head coach Ralph Friedgen. While at Maryland, his duties included breaking down opponent game film, working with the defensive scout team, and assisting with the Terrapin offensive line.
A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Perry began his coaching career as assistant quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Dartmouth in 2001. He served as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at NCAA Division III power Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., from 2002-03, and served as offensive coordinator there in 2004 before moving on to Maryland later that same season.
He and his wife, Abby, have two sons, Samuel and Nathaniel.