PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A big shakeup in Rhode Island’s college football scene was made official Tuesday as the Brown University Bears introduced a familiar face as their new head coach.
After two seasons with the Bryant Bulldogs, James Perry announced Monday that he would be leaving to accept the position at his alma mater.
Perry previously led the Bears to an Ivy League championship as a quarterback in 1999 and again as an assistant coach in 2004. The Andover native still holds a number of Ivy League records, including career passing yards, completions and touchdowns, and was inducted to the Brown Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
“I think this is a unique opportunity, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Perry said Tuesday. “At the same time, I just have immense respect and I loved my time at Bryant. It’s always kind of a turmoil feeling that you get in your stomach but being here on campus with Abby and the kids, it’s an extraordinary day.”
Perry replaces his former coach, Phil Estes, who stepped down last month after 21 years with the Bears.
“Phil’s a great mentor of mine. He’s the best coach in the school’s history,” Perry said. “It is a great honor to take over the program, and he’s a guy that I’ll continue to use as a great resource because I love him so much. I’m excited to get going.”
After back-to-back winless seasons in the Ivy League, Perry said he’s confident he can get Brown’s program back on track.
“I just look forward to just filling up a big football field full of space with a lot of kids running around, having fun,” he said. “We always play fast, so we’ll look at who’s on the roster right now, use them the best way possible, and I’m confident that this group of players will really embrace that full force and we’ll have some good results.”
Prior to taking over Bryant’s program, Perry served as Princeton’s offensive coordinator and helped lead the team to conference championships in 2013 and 2016.