Picked from 80 applicants, Perez begins at Cumby

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

May 20, 2008 - New head football coach and athletic director Edward Perez officially began his position at Cumby High School Monday morning.

The former New Diana defensive coordinator brings a proven track record to Cumby, and Superintendent Shaun Barnett said Perez is the right man for the job.

"I think Coach Perez gives us a level of energy and excitement we have not had in Cumby," Barnett said. "He is very knowledgeable and has a proven track record. He has stability in schools with staying for multiple years and we like that about him. He is also very organized and presented himself very well during the interview process."

Perez was one of more than 80 candidates who applied for the position left vacant by Kent Hawthorne, according to Barnett. Hawthorne is currently the head coach and athletic director at Weimar ISD.

For Perez, the journey to Cumby started in West Texas with his longest stay of six years being at New Diana. This will be his first position as the athletic director and head football coach.

"For the last six years, I have been in Diana as the defensive coordinator," he said." I grew up in West Texas and took my first job in Muleshoe and was there for three years. I then went to Kaufman and started migrating toward this way."

Perez said in the short time he has been at the school, he has met with the coaching staff and has seen how the student athletes work during their athletic period.

"I have had very little interaction with the kids at this point in time," Perez said. "I am trying to use this week to meet with the kids. I have been able to watch two athletic periods up to this point. The kids are really working hard and the coaches are doing a great job of keeping them disciplined and working hard."

With a summer weight program installed by Hawthorne at Cumby, Perez said he will continue to use the program this summer and is intent on working with the students in conditioning drills. He said the students at Cumby will be prepared when two-a-day football workouts begin in August.

"I am very high on the strength and conditioning program at any level," Perez said. "I believe if you do not build up an athlete from that level it is not going to matter what your scheme is. Coach (Gary) Parrish has been essential in this area."

He expects the team to compete hard next football season with the possibility of a new offensive and defensive scheme. He also said it was too early to make predictions on his team.

"I know they have been spread offense in the past and I am not opposed to that. I am more run-oriented than pass-oriented in my offensive scheme," Perez said. "Defensively, I am comfortable with the 50, but if we do not have the personnel to run the 50, then we might continue with the 4-3 that Coach Doug Johnson has put together as the defensive coordinator.

"Of course, everybody wants to make the playoffs. I am currently evaluating, watching, looking and learning some things from the coaches here. Right now, it would be premature to estimate what we are going to do, but the goal is to always make the playoffs."

Perez and his wife have three daughters ages nine, five and two years old.

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