Owens resigns as Pam Pack football coach

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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After leading the Washington High School football program through the COVID-19 pandemic, coaching two of the top players in recent program history and taking the Pack to the brink of the 2AA state title game, head coach Perry Owens has resigned.

The Beaufort County Board of Education received notification Tuesday night and he told his players Wednesday morning.

The 32-year old Owens is heading back home to Edenton to become the quarterbacks and defensive ends coach under veteran head coach Paul Hoggard, who led Richmond County to close to 100 wins and a state title before taking over at John A. Holmes HS before the 2015 season. He will also have field maintenance duties and teach Health/P.E.

“It’s a chance to go back to my favorite place on Earth and continue to learn under a legendary head coach,” Owens said. “My parents are into their 70’s now and will need some looking after. They also are looking forward to seeing their two grandchildren more often. I’m very grateful to Beaufort County Schools, the Washington High School administration, my players, assistant coaches and the community for helping me achieve what we did here, but it’s time to move on to the next chapter.”

Owens was an offensive lineman at Holmes, then earned a scholarship as part of Old Dominion’s first recruiting class in 2009.

He came to WHS from West Montgomery High School as the offensive coordinator under head coach Jon Blank in 2017.

After consecutive four win seasons, the Pack went 9-4 and returned to the 2A state playoffs in 2019. Blank resigned after the season and Owens was named the interim, then permanent head coach just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic to delay the season until the spring of 2020.

The Pack persevered through social distancing and constantly rotating and disinfecting footballs during practice to wearing masks during games to 7-2 record in an abbreviated season, which ended with a loss to St. Paul’s in the Eastern finals.

Owens’ offense set all kinds of program records in 2021 with current Duke player Terry Moore in the backfield along with All-Conference quarterback Hayes Pippin under center.

The Pack went 10-3 after rolling up just under 7,000 yards of total offense and scoring 609 points, both program records. The storybook season ended with a third round loss to Northeastern in Elizabeth City.

The 2022 season started on the wrong foot as Pippin’s projected replacement moved out of the county just before fall practice started, leaving the team without an experienced signal-caller.

Owens defensive coordinator left for a job in another county and long-time JV head coach Kevin Chapman took a position in Elizabeth City.

The upheaval left Owens with nearly all the responsibility of running an 85 player program.

“It is almost impossible to have a successful program with only one coach in the building,” Owens said. “It helps to build trust with the players, it helps you monitor their academics and behavior and builds the culture of your program if the kids have their coaches in class during the day.”

Owens did not foresee the situation changing for the coming season and when home called, he picked up the phone.

“We will build our house on family land, which my wife, Mari-Kate, (also a teacher) will help design and decorate and I see this as a long-term commitment,” Owens said. “I’m very proud of the program we built here and the players who will go on to do great things. My family has plenty of great memories here and Washington will always be my second favorite place.”