By Lynn Schofer

The Seaford football program will be led this season by new head coach Austin Perry. Coach Perry served as the quarterback coach and shared duties with former coach Mark Quillin as the offensive coordinator the past three seasons for Seaford. 

Perry is a 2010 Woodbridge graduate where he was the team’s quarterback. He then played at Delaware State University and graduated in 2014. Perry brings a plethora of experience in working with high school student athletes and will also be an educator in the Seaford High School building. 


Perry said although Coach Mark Quillin’s decision to leave was extremely difficult, he is ready to step up. “I am ready to take over the team, Mark (Quillin) called me and told me he was leaving and I thought about the timing. It felt like it is the perfect timing. I am ready and the other coaches are supporting me which is very important. We do so much together and it is important to have that solid core of guys who stick together behind the scenes,” he said. 

Perry said he had great head coaches that taught him, “I had the honor of learning from coaches like Ed Manlove, Jed Bell, and Mark Quillin. Mark showed me so much of the behind the scenes of football, the things that you don’t see on Friday night.”

Perry said he is grateful the staff of coaches who are returning. He has two positions to fill. “I am speaking to two men who are interested that would be a great benefit to the program,” Perry said. “(Returning) coaches like Joe Paleen, Rayce Boyer, Jamaal Austin all have great relationships with the kids and have been part of the program a long time. They understand the struggles.” 

Other coaches include Dwayne Bivens, Jamont Matthews, Dan Mangum, and Tim Friedman. “Many of us coaches are in the building and we are all in different areas so they can’t outrun us. We will have eyes on them all throughout the high school. We may not have big name coaches but these men are in the community and see the difficulties that our young men face and are part of their lives. This is who I want to work with every day.”

Coach Perry begins the season with a new quarterback and some changes in the players, “We have a few guys to replace the former QB like James McNeil as well as other choices that will make for a good competition for the position. I was a quarterback and I have a quarterback-friendly offense, I know how a quarterback thinks and I know what makes them comfortable.” 

The team will also bring in a large freshmen class. “I worked with them for three years and also have been with this senior class for three years,” he said.

Perry said that although some players moved on, he has every confidence in the team. “I fully believe we can compete and make it to the playoffs.  I want to focus on game one and build confidence,” said Perry.

Perry said of his goals, “I want to see 100 percent graduation with over 80 percent going to college or trade school or have a plan for after high school. Last year everyone remained eligible the entire season and I want that same academic commitment this year. At the end of the day, this is just a game and we are more about preparing them for life and I am an educator. I am hitting the ground running and we have much to do while building the head coach relationship with the players.” 

Mark Quillin came to Seaford and in three years changed an entire program into something the community should be proud to support. Perry said he wants to continue what Coach Quillin began.

“A lot of these kids have no clue how great Seaford was years ago and the mecca of academics and sports. We have a mantra, ‘Blue Jay Way’ and it is all about building that pride and loyalty to their school. You must have pride in what you are doing,” said Perry. He said the community will see him out in public and he will be wearing a Blue Jay shirt. “I want people to know I am a Blue Jay and proud of the kids and the program.” 

Seaford will open the new workout facility for the student athletes. Perry said he is excited, “I appreciate the support and hope you come out and fill the stadium to support your Blue Jay Football team.”  

As the interview finished, a group of underclassmen lined the hall waiting to get into the weight room for the workout. “I want them to believe they are great and we all will coach them up. It’s the Blue Jay Way,” he said.