Perry replaces Keith Heyward, who resigned last month to join the UW coaching staff. The 58-year-old Perry rejoins Mike Riley after serving as his cornerbacks coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001.
It is thought Perry will have a hand in recruiting the L.A./Orange County area along with WRs coach Brent Brennan. There are four Beaver coaches expected to overlap in the L.A. basin, with DC Mark Banker focusing up north and DL coach Joe Seumalo recruiting the east.
Perry has spent the last five seasons as special assistant to the defense for the Indianapolis Colts, coaching in two Super Bowls. His 20-plus NFL career has been spent coaching defensive backs.
NFL players that Perry coaches have earned eight Pro Bowl honors including two alternates. Colts safety Bob Sanders was the 2007 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the 2008 Colts allowed just six touchdown passes -- the lowest 16-game total in NFL history.
He began his coaching career in 1985 at Columbia University, before moving on to Fresno City College in 1986 and Fresno State in 1987-88. Since then, he has been in the NFL.
His professional coaching career began in 1989 with the Seattle Seahawks (1989-91/secondary) and also has included positions with the Rams (1992-94/secondary), Houston Oilers (1995-96/defensive backs), San Diego Chargers (1997-2001/cornerbacks) and Carolina Panthers (2002-06/secondary).
"I've been away from the college game for a while, but coaching is coaching," Perry said. "I missed working with young people, and I'm looking forward to being a part of all facets of their lives, not just football."
"Rod Perry is a tremendous coach who has a great understanding of defensive backfield play and is an excellent communicator," former Colts head coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy said. "Rod is one of the best technique teachers I've ever been around."
Perry is a 1983 graduate of Fresno State University but played collegiately at Colorado, earning All-Big Eight Conference honors as a senior and Honorable Mention All-America. Prior to Colorado, Perry attended Fresno City College and was a Junior College All-American.
Following was a 1975 NFL Draft fourth round selection of the Los Angeles Rams, where he earned 1978 and '80 Pro Bowl honors. Perry, who concluded his NFL career playing the 1983 and '84 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, is a member of the Rams' 40th Anniversary Team and started in the 1980 Super Bowl. Perry also played his first two seasons with the Rams with OSU and State of Oregon Sports Hall of member and current OSU broadcaster Steve Preece.
"Coach Riley is a great person and he has been very loyal to me; I'm excited to be on his coaching staff again," Perry said. "Initially, I wasn't thinking about the college level, but the more I thought about it the more this opportunity appealed to me."
"I targeted Coach Perry as a possibility to join our staff from the beginning of my search, and I feel fortunate to have somebody of his caliber coming to Oregon State," Riley said. "He has coached in the professional ranks for 22 years and has college experience as well. He will be a tremendous asset in the development of our secondary and our team overall."
Perry and his wife Patrice have three children, Rodney, Ryan and Miranda. Rodney was a 2001 MLB Draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies (OF) and Ryan was a two-year football letterman at the University of Hawaii.
Oregon State opens spring practice April 3 with the Spring Game scheduled for April 28.
Perry brings NFL experience to OSU
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