Doyt Perry believes in placing blame where it is due, and where it is due, he figures, is usually on Doyt Perry. A holding penalty against Tony Lawrence, a 295-pound junior tackle, wrecked a touchdown drive against Miami last year. "It was all my fault," said Perry afterward, astounding his listener. "How in hell do you figure that?" asked the man. "I should not have had him in there at that stage of the game," answered Perry.
"The thing about Doyt Perry is that he cares," says Bill Violet, co-captain and guard on the 1963 team. (Violet made Who's Who on College Campuses last year.) "He cares about everything. His whole family cares—Mrs. Perry, the two boys, David and D. L., his daughter Judy. Judy got me through freshman English. But the time I won't forget was the night he found out our oldest daughter Ronnie had a tumor on the brain. Bills and operations staring us in the face, we didn't know which way to turn. He came to my house and said, 'Bill, don't worry about getting through school. As of now you've got a full scholarship.' I didn't have to ask or say anything."
In his office the other day Doyt Perry leaned back in his chair and said he had a few things to say and, if he talked too much, to please stop him. He grinned, squinting. "You know," he said, "I'm not the best coach in the world. But, shoot, I'm not the worst either. I believe this about my coaching: I love kids, and I love this work. It's hard to.... Why do I win? Gee-munny Christmas, I don't know. I think—I believe it's true when they say success breeds success. Every coach on this staff has been a winner, and every kid on this team expects to be a winner. Now you ask me, will it stop? Sure, it'll stop. When I'm not doing the job it'll stop. When I'm too old—when I'm not bright enough to keep up."
He stood up and stared out the window overlooking the tennis courts.
"My whole theory.... I don't think I have brought this up. I think there's a winning formula, and it consists of five things. One, players. Two, organization. Three, hard work. Four, morale. Five, desire to win. Most of all, goldarnit, a boy has got to be happy. If a boy is happy, he'll work his butt off. So our job as coaches is to have happy kids. And a lot of that—"
His visitor said he hadn't heard that last part. Perry sat down and increased his volume. "Maybe I'm talking too much," he said, "and you stop me if—but it's like a business, football coaching. Gee-munny Christmas, you have to work at it. You're a teacher—nothing but a teacher, except you have to put your show on the road every week, and the student has got to get it or you're on the spot. The minute you get lazy and lose your enthusiasm you start going, and when you go, you go very fast in this profession.
"Listen, let me say this. I've enjoyed coaching. I enjoyed it at Clearview High, and I enjoyed it at Upper Arlington and I enjoy it here. To me there is no greater lure, not.... The only mistake I might have made was leaving high school, because there you can really have a great effect on molding a boy's character. Here I sometimes think I'm getting the boy too late, maybe. I think I probably did a better job in high school."
The job Doyt Perry has done at Bowling Green has brought him more than a few chances to coach at other schools, supposedly bigger, brighter, more important. Missouri, for example, tried twice to get him. There has been periodic talk of his being the logical successor to Hayes at Ohio State. Nevertheless Perry has stayed at Bowling Green and says now he will never leave.
"You're going to be disappointed in me," he said in his office. "I'm not very ambitious."