Brown University Press Release

Providence, R.I. - James Perry, the catalyst for two Ivy League Championships at Brown, one as a player and another as an assistant coach, has been named the 20th head football coach in Brown’s 141 year football history in an announcement made by Brown Director of Athletics Jack Hayes.

Perry will be formally announced as Brown’s head football coach at a 3:30 pm press conference on Tuesday, December 4 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  The announcement will be streamed live on ESPN+ and Facebook Live.

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome James Perry back to Brown as our head football coach,” said Hayes. “James is a proven leader, who has excelled in all aspects of his career – as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He has the determination and experience to lead the Brown football program back to the upper echelon of the Ivy League.”

“I’m honored to return to my alma mater as its head coach and follow in the footsteps of Phil Estes, my mentor and friend,” said Perry. “Brown is an exceptional place with a proven record of success in higher education and on the football field. I look forward to building an Ivy League Championship team at Brown once again through our ‘Fast and Physical’ style of playing football, and reconnecting with our legions of football alumni.”

A 2000 graduate of Brown with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Perry was named the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior, a Walter Payton Award Finalist and won the Bulger Lowe Award as the Outstanding Offensive Player in New England. A three-time First Team All-Ivy selection, Perry was also named the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet of the Year Award recipient after throwing for 3,255 yards and 27 touchdowns and leading the Bears to their second league title in school history in 1999. 

The Andover, Mass., native held virtually every Brown and Ivy League passing record, including passing yards in a season (3,255) and career (9,294), completions in a season (309) and career (789), touchdown passes in a game (6) and career (74), and total offense in a career (9,236). He threw for over 400 yards in a game six times during his career. Perry was inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame in Fall 2016.


Perry, the head coach at Bryant for the last two years, began his meteoric rise in the coaching ranks as assistant quarterbacks and wide-receivers coach at Dartmouth College in 2001. He then served as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at NCAA Division III power Williams College before moving to Maryland in 2006, where he received a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Leadership while working as a graduate assistant for the football team. 

In three years as the Bears’ quarterbacks coach (2007-2009), Perry helped the Bears win an Ivy League title in 2008 while molding quarterback Michael Dougherty into one of the top quarterbacks in Ivy League football history. Dougherty wrapped up his Brown career with 487 career completions, eighth best in Ivy football history, and 5,763 career passing yards, 11th best in the Ivy record book. 

Perry was named the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Princeton in 2010, and helped turn the program around. Employing a no-huddle, up-tempo style offense, Princeton rolled to the first of two Ivy League titles in 2013 under Perry’s offensive guidance, setting league records for points (43.7) and yards (511.6) per game in an 8-2 campaign.

After scoring 50 points only four times in a span of 469 games entering the 2013 schedule, the Tigers did so five times during their eight wins, including victories over historic rivals Harvard and Yale.

In 2016, Perry guided a group that ranked first in the Ivy League in scoring offense (34.6 points per game), total offense (415.5 yards) and rushing offense (183.2 yards) on its way to the 2016 Ivy League title.

Perry coached three Ivy League Player of the Year quarterbacks at Princeton -  Quinn Epperly Chad Kanoff and John Lovett.  Overall, Perry coached  36 All-Ivy League offensive selections in his seven seasons at Princeton.

Named the head coach at Bryant in 2017, Perry wasted little time getting the Bulldogs back on track, closing the 2017 season on a four-game winning streak to post a 6-5 record on the year. In NEC play, Bryant went 4-2, finishing in a tie for second in the final league standings after being picked sixth in the preseason poll. 

Bryant’s offense thrived under Perry’s watchful eye, averaging nearly 100 more yards per game and finishing the year with an average of 30.3 points per game.

His 2018 Bryant team posted a 6-5 overall record with 32.5 points per game and set a school Division I record with 56 points in its final game vs. Howard.

He and his wife, Abby, a Brown graduate, have three children, Samuel, Nathaniel and Rosemary.