- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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As expected, Oregon State coach Mike Riley named Rod Perry his secondary coach today to replace Keith Heyward, who resigned last month.
Perry, 58, spent the last five seasons as a special assistant to the defense for the Indianapolis Colts, were he coached in two Super Bowls.
“I targeted Coach Perry as a possibility to join our staff from the beginning of my search, and I feel fortunate to have somebody of his caliber coming to Oregon State,” Riley said in a statement. “He has coached in the professional ranks for 22 years and has college experience as well. He will be a tremendous asset in the development of our secondary and our team overall.”
The hire reunites Riley with Perry, who served as Riley's cornerbacks coach from 1999-2001 with the San Diego Chargers.
“Coach Riley is a great person and he has been very loyal to me; I’m excited to be on his coaching staff again,” Perry said. “Initially, I wasn’t thinking about the college level, but the more I thought about it the more this opportunity appealed to me.”
Perry started his coaching career in 1985 at Columbia University, before moving on to Fresno City College in 1986 and Fresno State in 1987-88. His professional coaching career began in 1989 with the Seattle Seahawks (1989-91/secondary) and also has included positions with the Rams (1992-94/secondary), Houston Oilers (1995-96/defensive backs), San Diego Chargers (1997-2001/cornerbacks) and Carolina Panthers (2002-06/secondary).
Perry is a 1983 graduate of Fresno State University, but played at the University of Colorado, earning All-Big Eight Conference honors as a senior and Honorable Mention All-America. Prior to Colorado, Perry attended Fresno City College and was a Junior College All-American. The native of Fresno attended Hoover High School where his jersey number is permanently retired. Following his college career he was a 1975 NFL draft fourth-round selection of the Los Angeles Rams, where he earned 1978 and ’80 Pro Bowl honors. Perry, who concluded his NFL career playing the 1983 and ’84 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, is a member of the Rams’ 40th Anniversary Team and started in the 1980 Super Bowl. Perry also played his first two seasons with the Rams with OSU and State of Oregon Sports Hall of member, and current OSU broadcaster Steve Preece.