High School Football

Kentucky high school coach joining Neal Brown’s program at Troy University

Lexington Catholic head coach Mark Perry questions a call by the officials in the first half. The Lexington Catholic Knights played the Belfry Pirates in the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, Class 3A Championship, Sunday, Dec. 06, 2015 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.
Lexington Catholic head coach Mark Perry questions a call by the officials in the first half. The Lexington Catholic Knights played the Belfry Pirates in the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, Class 3A Championship, Sunday, Dec. 06, 2015 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

Lexington Catholic football head coach Mark Perry is leaving the program to become the director of football operations at Troy University under Neal Brown.

Perry confirmed his departure to the Herald-Leader. Ryan Lemond first reported Perry’s job change on the Kentucky Sports Radio show Wednesday morning.

Brown, a Boyle County graduate who played at Kentucky from 1998 to 2000 and was the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014, is entering his fourth season as the head coach at Troy.

Perry played at UK with Brown. He was a graduate assistant with the Wildcats in 2001 and 2002 before assuming the same role at Baylor in 2003. He became the assistant director of football operations at Baylor in 2004 before returning to Kentucky to coach at Washington County from 2004-10. He was the head coach at Central Hardin from 2011-13 before taking the reins at Lexington Catholic in 2014.

“Neal and I have known each other for many years and we’ve always talked about working together,” Perry said.

Troy’s former director of football operations, Todd Watson, left for the same position at the University of Tennessee in December. Brown reached out to Perry during Catholic’s winter break.

“It’s just an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Perry said. “With a great program like Troy that’s on the rise, and a head coach on the rise in Neal, I’m just excited about the opportunity. He’s a great football coach. I’ve learned a lot already just in my talks with him.”

Perry said he thinks “somewhere down the road” he could see himself as a head coach in the collegiate ranks, but “right now I want to go and do the best job I can for Neal and for Troy.”

Catholic reached the state semifinals in Perry’s first season and in 2015 played for a Class 3A championship. The Knights were region finalists each of the last two seasons under Perry, who was just the third head coach in program history after Bob Sphire and Bill Letton.

Perry and his family have loved living in Lexington.

“It’s been four great years at Lexington Catholic,” Perry said. “My family and I have all enjoyed our time tremendously. It honestly made it a tough decision because of how much we enjoyed Lexington and the people around the program.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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