WMU News

Football team fills two coaching vacancies

Feb. 25, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University football team has hired Pat Perles as offensive line coach and Keith Flynn as running backs coach, head coach Gary Darnell announced today.

Perles, 36, replaces Sam Pittman who left for a similar position at Missouri in January. Flynn takes over an area previously handled by assistant coach Deon Chester, who will now oversee WMU's talented receiving corps.

Perles, the son of former Michigan State coach George Perles, has spent the past six seasons coaching offensive lines in the Canadian Football League. The last three years (1997-99), Perles was on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats staff, helping the club set a league record last season with 15 sacks allowed in 18 games. His other CFL stops included stints with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1996-97) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1994-96).

From 1992-93, Perles was a defensive assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams, working on Chuck Knox's staff. Perles is no stranger to the Mid-American Conference, having worked as defensive line coach at the University of Toledo from 1988-92. He helped the Rockets to a share of the MAC Championship in 1990 during Nick Saban's tenure.

Perles received a bachelor's of science degree in marketing/advertising from Michigan State University in 1987. An outside linebacker for the Spartans (1983-85), Perles is the third MSU alumnus on the Bronco staff, joining newly-hired quarterbacks coach Daniel Enos and tight ends coach Kyle Nystrom.

"Pat brings a unique blend of experience and familiarity. He has knowledge of the area through his MAC ties and time spent at Michigan State," says Darnell.

Flynn, 39, built a winning program as head varsity coach at Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Taking over a team that had just four wins over two seasons, Flynn won nearly 70 percent of his games over 11 seasons, producing a career record of 76-34. In addition, his teams captured six district championships, were ranked among the top eight teams in the state on five occasions and went undefeated in 1992.

Flynn was a graduate assistant coach (1986-87) at Wake Forest during the time Darnell was the Decan Demons' defensive coordinator. He earned a master's in education from Wake Forest in 1988 and a bachelor's of art degree in education/physical education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1983. Flynn also played on the Tar Heel's 1979 team that won the Gator Bowl.

With his South Florida background, Flynn figures to be a good fit with the WMU running backs, who include Miami natives Robert Sanford and Charles Woods along with Fort Lauderdale product K.T. Robinson.

"Keith worked with me at Wake Forest and brings a high degree of familiarity with the South Florida area, where he was a highly successful coach," says Darnell.

Darnell will finalize staff assignments next week in preparation for spring drills, starting March 14.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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