“My best memories of those days as Salem football coach are all the wonderful kids and families I worked with. The kids I coached are my Hall of Fame,” he said. “My players, coaches, and the families I met along the way remain so dear and important in my life.
“My only regret is that the strike happened during my tenure. My loyalty was to my fellow teachers, and I marched with them. I never crossed their line, but the school days would be made up while the football games would be forfeited. I owed a loyalty to my players. If it happened again tomorrow I’d do the same thing.”
Perrone said he was so fortunate to have great assistant coaches Tim Marcoulier, Dave Wilbur and Al Giardi with him for all 22 years at Salem.
“He certainly deserves this honor, but it’s long overdue,” said Marcoulier, who played for Perrone at John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine, then coached with him for 25 years (including three in Maine).
“Ken is definitely a players’ coach through and through. He has a remarkable memory and never forgets anybody, even if they played for him 30 years ago. What made him so successful was having a system and a philosophy. We ran a multiple offense and defense, and had a veteran staff that was on the same page.”
Giardi coached with Perrone from 1973-93. “I’m very happy for Ken and his family,” said Giardi. “We’ve been friends for a long time, and I’ve been to three of his Hall of Fame inductions already.
“The kids always enjoyed playing for Ken, and they trusted him and the rest of the coaches. We always felt every time we went out on the field we could win. He had a great offense that was easy for the kids to learn, and our multiple defense worked well, too. Ken always had a lot of great ideas, and that showed in his record. His coaching staff was together for such a long time that we knew the whole system inside out, and we didn’t have to have a lot of meetings.”