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Football: McCarney hires new special teams coach

Profile image for By Brett Vito / Staff Writer
By Brett Vito / Staff Writer

North Texas has found its new special teams coach.

Tommy Perry, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at South Alabama, will join the Mean Green’s staff next season.

A source within the UNT athletic department confirmed late Saturday night that the school is in the process of finalizing the addition of Perry to Dan McCarney’s staff.

Perry will replace Kent Riddle, who left UNT to become the assistant head coach at Arkansas State.

Perry coached the Jaguars’ running backs in addition to serving as the special teams coordinator last season.

Perry is a native of Monroe, La., and spent two years at Tyler Junior College. He went on to play three years at Texas A&M as a fullback, linebacker and defensive end.

Perry continued to build on his Texas ties while spending 2004 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Texas before working as a graduate assistant at Alabama and Texas A&M-Commerce.

Perry worked under current UNT director of football operations Scotty Conley when Conley was the head coach at A&M-Commerce.

Perry joined the staff at South Alabama in 2009.

Perry will take over a special teams unit that returns kicker Zach Olen and kick returner Brelan Chancellor but must replace punter Will Atterberry.

Olen made 11 of his 16 field-goal attempts last season, while Chancellor averaged 19.5 yards on 18 returns. UNT also used senior running back Jeremy Brown as a kick returner and saw him average 21.6 yards on 15 returns.

Chancellor set the UNT record for kickoff return yards in a season with 1,094 as a sophomore in 2011. He only played eight games last season before breaking his collarbone.

While UNT returns two of its key special teams players, it will have to replace Atterberry, who was a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection as a senior. Atterberry averaged 41.3 yards a punt and had 23 downed inside opponents’ 20-yard line.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is .