Perry operation termed successful
By Andy Reed
Mt. Juliet High football coach Roger Perry underwent five-bypass heart surgery Thursday at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.
His son, Golden Bear defensive coordinator Trey Perry, said the procedure was a success.
"We're very blessed," Trey Perry said Thursday night. "He had six blockages. Three in his coronary arteries are 90-percent blocked."
Perry was mowing his yard last Saturday when his daughter noticed he was having to stop to catch his breath. There were other signs the 57-year-old was having health issues, as well.
"For the last week, he had had chest pains," said Trey Perry, who added his dad went to school as late as Tuesday and went to a previously planned function that night. "Sunday, he went out turkey hunting with one of his friends. Whatever's normally easy for him was difficult. He stopped three times.
"When he woke up Monday, he had weakness in his left side."
Perry has been at Mt. Juliet seven seasons, posting a 66-21 record and taking the Golden Bears to the state playoffs each season after the program had missed the playoffs the previous five years. The last two seasons saw MJ reach the state semifinals before losing to Whitehaven. The 2011 team started 13-0, the only undefeated regular season for an MJHS football team.
He spent 16 seasons at Portland where the Panthers won the 2000 state championship and reached the state final two other times. Perry began his career at his alma mater, Westmoreland, taking over as head coach in the middle of the 1983 season.
For 29 1/2 seasons, he has a 266-93 career record.
Trey Perry said his father was spending last night in the cardiac ICU on oxygen.
"[The doctors] were encouraged because he was actually trying to fight that," said the younger Perry, who has been fielding calls and texts from former players and coaches.
"It's been neat to see all of his former payers and coaches from all three schools," Trey Perry said.