Keith Wakefield is returning to Perry High School to coach the Panthers football team.
Perry announced the hiring of Wakefield as its head football coach today.
Wakefield previously coached the Panthers from 1982-2003, going 157-74. His 157 wins are fourth-most in Stark County history. He also coached St. Vincent-St. Mary for two seasons in 2004 and 2005 and posted a record of 11-11.
“He is the right coach for our program at this point in time, in order to bring Perry’s program back to one of consistent competitiveness with other Federal League programs,” Perry Local Superintendent Dr. John Richard said.
Wakefield’s Perry teams won 11 Federal League titles in 22 seasons and reached the state playoffs four times. The 2000 Panthers advanced to the Division I state semifinals. He guided the 2005 Fighting Irish team to a state playoff appearance too.
"As we reviewed the criteria for out next head coach, it led us directly to Keith Wakefield," Perry Athletic Director Todd Sutton said. "We are thrilled that he is the right fit, and is available and excited to be back at Perry.
Wakefield replaces Keith Boedicker, who resigned last week after going 13-17 in three seasons.
Perry has been to the playoffs just once since Wakefield left for St. V-M. John “Spider” Miller, who replaced Wakefield, guided the Panthers to the postseason in 2006. Perry went 9-2 that season, which is just one of three winning seasons by the Panthers since Wakefield departed.
Wakefield has been an assistant coach at the University of Mount Union for six seasons.
Wakefield will meet with the team this afternoon and plans to meet with parents later this week.