Perry retires as Missouri Western men’s golf coach

MWSUAfter 49 seasons of coaching golf on the high school and college level including the last twelve seasons as Griffon Men’s Golf Coach, Jim Perry has announced his retirement.

Perry took over the golf program from Mike Habermehl in the summer of 2001 and has led Griffon Men’s Golf to be a constant among the upper tier of MIAA teams.

“I can’t thank MWSU enough for the opportunity to be apart of the program for the past 12 seasons,” Perry said.  “The thing I cherish the most is the many folks I’ve had the opportunity to meet and the relationships I’ve made with my student-athletes, coaches, administrators, players from opposing teams, parents and our boosters.”

Perry led the Griffons to eight NCAA Central Region Championships in his tenure including the 2005 tournament which was held at St. Joseph Country Club.  His 2006 team won the MIAA Championship, one of only two conference titles in program history.

“Coach Perry is a legend in the coaching ranks and I am thankful I’ve had the opportunity to work with him here at MWSU,” said Director of Athletics Kurt McGuffin.  “He has done a great job with our program and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Perry also recruited and coached a number of outstanding student-athletes at MWSU including All-MIAA selections Aaron Lisenbee, Daniel Cordray, Shane Feist and Tyler Gast.  Lisenbee was also named an Honorable Mention All-American in 2008.

No Griffon during Perry’s tenure was as decorated as Brice Garnett.  Perry recruited Garnett from Gallatin, Missouri in 2002.  He went on to be a four time All-MIAA selection, two time All-American, played on four NCAA Tournament teams and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament twice including a fourth place individual finish his senior year in Savannah, Georgia.  Garnett was twice named the MWSU Male Student-Athlete of the Year (04-05, 05-06) and is awaiting induction into the MWSU Hall of Fame as he was part of the 2012 class.  Since he graduated from MWSU, he has gone on to enjoy a successful professional golf career as he currently has exempt status on the Web.Com Tour.

“Not many folks have had the opportunities I’ve had in my career,” said Perry.  “It was a special time for me when I came to Missouri Western as I had the opportunity to coach my son for the final two years of his career and neat to watch the program I left at Central win a state championship during that time.  It was also special for me to coach arguably the best player that’s ever played at MWSU in Brice Garnett as well as the many other quality student-athletes that have been on our teams over the past years.”

Perry’s teams also excelled in the classroom as his program had a 100% graduation rate and boasted the highest team GPA this past spring among male sports at MWSU.

Prior to his MWSU career, Perry spent 37 years at Central High School in St. Joseph where he spent nine years as an Assistant Football Coach, 25 years coaching basketball (with stints on both the boy’s & girl’s side) and all 37 coaching the boys & girls golf teams.

His golf teams were a traditional state power winning numerous district titles which advanced the teams to the state tournament.  He led the boys program to three consecutive state titles from 1992-1994.  He’s also a member of the Central High School Hall of Fame as he was inducted as part of two different teams, one being the 1971 Boys Basketball Team which won 28 consecutive games during the season and the other, his 1992 State Championship Boys Golf Team.

A search for a new coach will begin immediately.

— MWSU Sports Information —