1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hall, Farris, Gordon, Dearing, Smith, Horhn, Gollott, Frazier, Bean, Harvey

Senate Concurrent Resolution 579

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


WHEREAS, Walter Ray Perkins was born on November 6, 1941, in Mt. Olive, Mississippi, but was reared in Petal and claims that south Mississippi town as home; and

WHEREAS, Ray was a four-sport letterman in football, basketball, baseball and track at Petal High; and

WHEREAS, he played brilliantly in all sports despite a number of injuries and a rigorous work schedule at a local service station; and

WHEREAS, he led the Petal High School gridiron team to a 1961 undefeated season, and made the All Conference teams once in basketball and twice in football; and

WHEREAS, Ray was chosen as a 1961 WigWam Wiseman High School All America Fullback at Petal, and received two scholarship offers from Alabama and USM; and

WHEREAS, he was recruited to play for Paul "Bear" Bryant by Assistant Coach Dude Hennessy, and was one of 65 players signed by Alabama in 1961, 16 of whom were fullbacks, of whom only eight were left by the time he was a junior, and just four of the fullbacks: Ray, Jackie Sherrill, Jerry Duncan and Steve Bowman, the only one signed who stayed at fullback; and

WHEREAS, Ray suffered a serious head injury during freshman practice that required brain surgery in Birmingham, and Coach Bryant stayed in Birmingham for the nine days Ray remained in the hospital; and

WHEREAS, with a steel plate in his head, Ray was redshirted in 1963 when he began to hone his kicking skills and learned how to run pass patterns and play the wide receiver position; and

WHEREAS, upon his return to the playing field, Ray established himself as one of the finest wide receivers to ever play college football; and

WHEREAS, the fastest man on the team, Ray led Alabama to national championships in 1964 and 1965, and was elected permanent co-captain with Richard Cole of the undefeated 1966 Tide team that finished 11-0; and

WHEREAS, during his playing days in 1964, 1965, and 1966, the Crimson Tide record was 30-2-1, Alabama captured the SEC championship in all three years, and he was chosen as the Atlanta Touchdown Club's SEC Player of the Year in 1966, along with being named a consensus All American and All SEC player in his senior year; and

WHEREAS, he played in three bowl games, set records for most yards receiving in the Orange and Sugar Bowls, and also set the standard for most touchdown receptions in the Orange Bowl; and

WHEREAS, Ray was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 7th round of the NFL draft and played in Baltimore for five years, from 1967-1971, playing in Super Bowl III and Super Bowl V; during his NFL days, he caught 93 passes for 1,538 yards and 11 touchdowns; and

WHEREAS, he coached at Mississippi State in 1973, for the New England Patriots from 1974-1977, for the San Diego Chargers in 1978 and was selected in 1979 as head coach of the New York Giants; and

WHEREAS, Ray followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Coach "Bear" Bryant, by accepting the athletic director and head coaching position at his alma mater, where his teams rolled up a 32-15-1 record during his four years coaching the Crimson Tide, playing in and capturing three bowl games; and

WHEREAS, in 1987, he became head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 1992 was named head football coach at Arkansas State, rejoined the Patriots as offensive coordinator in 1993, and is currently the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders; and

WHEREAS, Ray is a veteran of 18 NFL seasons, 6 as a player and 12 as a coach, is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, has his own coaching corner in the Paul "Bear" Bryant Museum on the Tuscaloosa campus and has one Alabama football award in his name -- the Ray Perkins Most Improved Receiver Award -- given annually after spring football practice; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to commend excellence in native sons whom we are proud to claim as one of our own:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Ray Perkins upon the occasion of his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, and extend our heartiest congratulations upon his receipt of this honor.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be given to Walter Ray Perkins.