Ex-Maryland assistant Perry named coach at Del. State Gets own program for first time in 23-year career

August 16, 1996|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

Three months after being fired as an assistant at the University of Maryland, Art Perry was named head basketball coach at Delaware State yesterday.

It marks the first time in his 23-year career that Perry, 49, will run his own program.

"It's ironic to me that I landed my first head coaching job after going through a very troubled time," Perry said from his home in Bethesda before leaving for an afternoon news conference at the Dover, Del., school. "It has to say something about my reputation and the job I have done."

Perry's firing after six years at Maryland came after the Terrapins failed to land any top recruits last spring, including St. John's at Prospect Hall star Nate James, who went to Duke. Perry, who had been an assistant at Rutgers, Connecticut and Old Dominion before coming to College Park, previously had been credited with the recruiting of former Maryland star Joe Smith.

Maryland coach Gary Williams insisted at the time that his decision not to renew Perry's contract had nothing to do with James going to another ACC school, saying that he wanted to go in "another direction" with his staff. Williams later hired former Terrapin Dave Dickerson, who had been an assistant at Radford.

Perry is the sixth head coach hired at Delaware State in the past 13 years. He replaces Fred Goodman, who was 18-38 in two seasons.

Delaware State hasn't had a winning season in six years. The Hornets were 11-17 overall last season -- including a 118-55 pasting at College Park -- and 8-8 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Delaware State returns four senior starters from that team.

"We're pleased to have someone with [Perry's] experience and maturity," said university president William Delauder, who interviewed Perry last week. "He's worked at some fine Division I programs. We were looking for some stability and he makes a good fit for our situation."

Pub Date: 8/16/96

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