Ray Perkins, former Buccaneers coach, dies at 79

Buccaneers

University of Alabama head coach Ray Perkins explains techniques to his quarterbacks, March 23, 1983, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (AP Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Ray Perkins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers former head coach, died Wednesday morning in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa News reported.

Perkins’ death was confirmed during SEC teleconference on Wednesday. Alabama head coach Nick Saban described Perkins as “a really, really good person and a really good friend,” and sent condolences to his family, according to the newspaper.

Years before Saban, Perkins coached the Crimson Tide for four seasons, winning three bowl games. He had also played there as a wide receiver, then spent five seasons playing for the Baltimore Colts. He was a Super Bowl V champion and a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Before Alabama, Perkins was an assistant at Mississippi State. His career ended as head coach at Arkansas State in 1992.

He also coached the New York Giants from 1979 to 1982, going 23-34. In the 1981 season, he led the Giants to the playoffs for the first time since 1963.

Perkins was on the Bucs’ coaching staff from 1987 through 1990, going 19-41.

Perkins was 79. His cause of death has not been disclosed.

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