Highland High School Athletic Director Caleb Houchins said the hiring of veteran coach Brian Perkes to take over the reins of the boys basketball team is exciting, because he will be a great asset to the program.
“Coach Perkes is a great fit for Highland, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him come on board as the new head basketball coach,” Houchins said. “The program is on a real upswing right now, and we expect that to continue with Brian leading the program. Brian has a real passion for the game of basketball, and this translates into the time and effort he puts into the program. He has 17 years of experience, and coached at the 3A level in the past. Brian’s teams are physical, well disciplined, and very well schooled in the fundamentals.”
In is 17 years as a head coach, Perkes has compiled a 244-225 overall record, with stints at four different schools, most notably the eight-year tenure he spent at Mater Dei, where he earned a solid winning record of 153-85, which was good for a .643 winning percentage.
“I am very excited and feel very blessed to be given the opportunity to be the next Highland coach,” Perkes said. “I thought the Highland boys basketball job was intriguing because of the conference they play in, the success of many of their athletic programs, and the general trending of how the boys program is getting better and better. Hopefully, with the 17 years of varsity experience that I have, the transition of a new coach with a young team will go as smoothly as possible.”
His coaching experience began at Coulterville, where he worked the sidelines for six seasons before moving on to Reddick for one year.
Then, after his eight years at Mater Dei from the 2005-06 season through the 2012-13 campaign, Perkes spent two years at Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School in Centralia.
“Brian is a tremendous student of the game, and works to find the best system to fit his personnel,” Houchins said. “If playing quickly helps his teams, then his teams get up and down the court. If a game calls for more patience, then his teams will slow down the tempo.”
Perkes inherits a team that that will be in the rebuilding mode after losing eight seniors to graduation.
“Coach Perkes does a tremendous job of player development, and getting all levels of the program involved in learning his system,” Houchins said. “That is very important in making sure that players that come into the program improve and get better as the season progresses.”
Perkes said his goal as the caretaker of the Bulldogs basketball program is to continue to improve the program and compete for Mississippi Valley Conference championships, as well as postseason success.
“I know we have a young team coming back, and I think that can be a positive with a new coach coming in with probably a different way of doing some things,” he said. “A young team will probably be more open to change when compared to a veteran team.”