By John Balch
DIERKS – The Dierks High School athletic program will soon be under new direction after the resignation of longtime coach David Bennett and the hiring of Vince Perrin.
Perrin was hired Thursday night by unanimous vote to replace Bennett, who has accepted a job with the Horatio School District after 16 years as an Outlaw.
“He has done a great job building that program up,” Perrin said about Bennett. “I’m going to have some big shoes to fill – whenever you think of Outlaw football, you think of David Bennett.”
Perrin added, “I hope to continue the winning tradition at Dierks with some conference and state championships.”
Perrin comes to Dierks after a two-year stint at Stuttgart where he served as head football coach and athletic director, the same duties he will take over at Dierks. He lead the Rice Birds to a 9-12 record in those two years. Prior to Stuttgart, Perrin headed up the athletic program and coached at Mineral Springs for two successful seasons. He had a combined record of 20-5 with the MS Hornets.
Perrin, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University where he played Tiger football for four years and earned postseason awards, has also coached at Arkadelphia, Springdale, Bearden, Greenwood, Clinton, Lakeside and Alma.
The Lake Hamilton High School graduate also played the 2001 season with the Bossier City Battle Wings in the AF2 League, a developmental league of of the Arena Football League.
Perrin is also the former owner of the gym in Nashville, which helps explain his coaching philosophy that centers on conditioning all athletes, not just the football players. He said all Dierks High School athletes can expect to be involved in his conditioning and strengthening program, which includes plenty of off-season work.
“We will definitely have all our athletes bigger, faster and stronger,” he said. “You’ve got to spend time training and development the kids.”
Perrin said he has not yet met with his Dierks coaching staff, but he expects the staff to remain intact. The current staff includes Jeff Tipton, Stephen Sprick, Dustin Bissell and Kevin Alexander. Perrin’s first official day on the job at Dierks is July 1 and he is excited to get started.
“We’ve got a lot to install and a lot of changes to made,” he said.
Perrin said he is also excited to return to the area because his children attend school at the nearby South Pike County School District in Murfreesboro. His children are Sloan, 12; Natalie, 9; and Bryce, 7.