Coach’s Passion For Basketball, Math


©The Talon News | Nicholas West

Head basketball coach Russell Perkins calls out a play to his team at the Area playoff game against Fort Worth Dunbar at Eaton High School on March 1, 2022. The Eagles clenched the Area championship with the their 55-51 win.

Izzy Lester, Reporter

Basketball season is nearing the end of the playoffs, and after last year’s state championship victory, expectations and tensions are high for the boy’s team as they try to make it once again to that last Saturday game. They will play in the region tournament at Lubbock Christian University on Friday in the region semi-final, and if they win will play in the finals to determine if they will once again earn a spot in the state title tournament next week.

Head coach Russell Perkins has been teaching and coaching at Argyle for the past 9 years, but has been in the business for far longer than that. After graduating from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, with a major in Education, he has taught and coached for over 30 years.

“In the 7th grade, I decided I wanted to teach and coach,” Perkins said. “I thought it’d be nice to help out students and athletes like myself, and it’s what I’ve enjoyed,”

Perkins has been teaching the same subject, Algebra II for all his many years of teaching. He enjoys the subject and teaching it even more, although he originally did not want to be a math teacher.

“I teach math not because I wanted to, but because they don’t fire good math teachers, but they do fire good coaches every single year,” Perkins explained.

He is never alone when it comes to his job, however. His wife of 33 years, Becky Perkins, works right next door to him, and his son, Caleb Perkins, works just down the hall. All three of them teach mathematics.

“My daughter was the only one to escape the math teacher disease,” Perkins joked. “She’s the head director of the Dallas Farmers Market.”

While teaching Algebra II is enjoyable on its own, Perkins’ real passion is shown on the basketball court, as the boy’s team’s head coach.

“I just love basketball,” Perkins said. “Always have, always will.”

Basketball is not the only sport Perkins has coached but he did not experience the same joy in coaching other sports, such as football and tennis.

“[In] Texas, you have to coach football,” Perkins stated. “I did that for 20 years and I hated every minute of it.”

Perkins’ love for basketball comes from playing it when he was younger. He played all through his high school years.

“It was just something I could always do,” Perkins said. “I could always shoot the basketball in the hoop, so what better thing to do than to play basketball?”

After high school, however, he stopped playing the sport, and instead, turned his attention to studying so that he could teach others to play it instead.

“I wasn’t good enough to play in college,” Perkins admitted. “So I decided I would help others be good enough.”

Last year yielded huge success for the boy’s team, winning Perkins’ first state championship. However, no season is without its challenges.

“We graduated and lost 10 guys from last year’s team, so we definitely don’t have as big of a team as we had last year.”

Alongside the smaller team, the pressure on players to live up to the expectations of last year is also stress-inducing on these young men; and yet, the team continues to persist.

“Any of those boys would love to play on that last Saturday, as would I,” Perkins stated. “But if we can just get to the best that we can be and be playing our best basketball, that’ll be just as successful of a season to me.”

Perkins and his team are eager to continue working hard and try to play once again on that last Saturday.

“We keep trying, no matter the odds,” Perkins said. “We believe in ourselves, each other, and in what can be done.”