New York Giants Coach Ray Perkins likely will become the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama next season, then will replace Paul (Bear) Bryant as the Crimson Tide's head coach for the 1984 season, according to sources, who said an announcement would be made shortly.
The sources said that Perkins, a former all-America split end at Alabama, will also become the school's assistant athletic director next season and will take over Bryant's job as athletic director in 1984. Perkins, 40, could not be reached for comment last night.
Dr. Joab L. Thomas, president of the University of Alabama, said he could not deny the report but declined to confirm it.
Bryant, 69, did not return calls last night. The Crimson Tide finished a disappointing 7-4 this year, losing its final three games of the season, and will play Illinois in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 29, Bryant's 24th consecutive bowl appearance.
Although he has won more games than any coach in NCAA history, Bryant hinted several times this season that he was considering retirement. In 38 seasons of coaching (25 years at Alabama), Bryant's record is 322-85-17.
"I'm spoiled when it comes to winning. Maybe that's why this season's been so hard," Bryant told The Washington Post late in November. "... we'll be as good when I'm gone as we are now, maybe better..."
In that same week, Bryant also denied that his retirement was imminent, saying, "There's no truth to any of the rumors."
At Alabama, Perkins was a split end for both Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. In 1966, Perkins won all-America honors.