Perrin takes over reign of Ricebirds

STUTTGART — After a two-year absence from the game of football, newly appointed Stuttgart head coach Vince Perrin returns to what he says he was “on this Earth for.”

“And that is to coach football,” Perrin said. “Mentor these young men and make a positive impact on their lives.

Perrin said he took a break from coaching due to a “predicament with his family.”

“I got out for two years so I could be close with my children,” Perrin said.

Perrin said he was hired by Stuttgart in early June.

“It has gone good,” Perrin said. “Anytime there is change, it is new to the kids and it is new to the coaches.

“Coach (Billy) Elmore and his staff did an excellent job here. It is on more than solid ground. The kids have responded well and are working hard.”

Perrin said as of right now, he is “optimistic” for this season.

Elmore left for West Memphis at the end of April after leading the defending 4A state champions to a 4-7 overall record in 2013.

Perrin, a native of Hot Springs, was the head football coach and athletic director at 2A Mineral Springs before taking his leave of absence. He will take the same two roles at the larger Stuttgart.

“So it is not completely new to me, it is just bigger,” Perrin said.

Perrin was hired on at Stuttgart after a job posting grabbed his attention.

“They advertise for the job and one thing led to another and I got an interview,” Perrin said. “Next thing I know, they decided they wanted to hire me.

“… It is a breath of fresh air. The camaraderie and the relationships you build with the kids and the coaches, it is a great profession.

“I am blessed.”

Even though Perrin has only been on the job for just a little more than a month now, he said he has been pretty busy.

“We’ve been extremely busy as a staff,” Perrin said. “Busy as a district because there has been a lot of change.

“We’ve hired a couple of new coaches and will have to hire another. It has been extremely busy to say the least.”

Stuttgart’s head baseball coach Vincent Newton left Stuttgart after just one season. Newton accepted a non-baseball job at North Pulaski after deciding to leave due to what he called a “bad situation.”

“As a young coach, I’m glad I get to protect my name and protect my résumé,” Newton told The Commercial. “I was accused of some things that didn’t happen. …

“It didn’t make sense to stay in a situation where I felt I wasn’t treated right.”

Perrin commended Newton on Tuesday.

“He wanted to pursue other opportunities, and I commend him for that,” Perrin said. “I wish him the best of luck.”

Perrin hopes to return the Ricebirds to its former glory.

“The main thing we want is to win championships,” Perrin said. “When you talk about tradition in the state of Arkansas, Stuttgart is right there at the top.

“There are expectations and what we want is to win championships year after year. … And if we don’t believe in it, we aren’t going to do it.”

He believes the tools are in place to accomplish that goal.

“That is our expectation and our goal right now,” Perrin said.

Perrin and the rest of the Ricebirds will try to accomplish that goal when practices officially starts on Aug. 4.