By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
This past fall on the opening day of football practice Mark Perry talked about his job and the role of being the head football coach at Snohomish High School.
Perry talked about the pressure that came with replacing a coach like Dick Armstrong, who was the head coach at Snohomish for more than 30 years and was a legend not only in Snohomish but in the state of Washington. He also said that if you don’t win at Snohomish with talented players the people in the community would hold that coach responsible.
That pressure may have been too much. After 18 seasons and arguably his toughest being this past season, Perry resigned last week, citing the fact that the past two years have been difficult on him, according to Snohomish School District athletic director Mark Albertine. The Panthers went 6-14 over the past two seasons, including a 2-8 season this year in which the Panthers were soundly beaten by crosstown rival Glacier Peak in the two school’s first-ever meeting.
“This is not easy on anybody,” said Albertine, who worked hand-in-hand with Perry for most of his 18 years as head coach. “The first words you think of when you hear Mark Perry is he’s a man of character and integrity and those things he instilled in his players. Those are wonderful traits in a human being.”
Perry finishes his tenure at Snohomish with a record of 105-77.
Albertine said that Perry will remain the athletic director at Snohomish and could still be a part of the Panthers coaching staff in the future. “That’s going to be his choice whether or not he still wants to be involved but he is still very valued,” Albertine said of Perry.
Albertine said the Panthers head coaching job will be posted next week and that he expects there to be a strong set of applicants for the job. “I would picture this as an attractive position,” Albertine said of the Snohomish head football coaching job, which has been under the direction of just two men over the past half century.
As for what the school is looking for in a new head coach, Albertine was clear. “We’ll be looking for someone who is going to have a high level of energy and enthusiasm,” Albertine said. “They will also have an excellent background and knowledge of the game of football and is going to teach kids to be a winner on the field as well as in the classroom and in life.”