The girls basketball program took time out of their busy schedule to give back to a family in need. The girls volunteered an entire Saturday to help clean up a house in partnership with Hammer and Nails of Canton. With the time and work the girls put in, the family of 8 moving into the home will now be able to do so for the upcoming holiday season. Way to go girls!






Perry Girls Basketball News

  • H.S. girls basketball: Fire still burns for Perry’s Couto

  • Jeff Couto took some time off after his coaching stint at Louisville to help out at Malone University. But he realized that he needed to have his own team again, and Perry came calling.
  • New Perry High School girls basketball coach Jeff Couto (center) talks to his players during a summer workout WhitlockNew Perry High School girls basketball coach Jeff Couto (center) talks to his players during a summer workout session.
  • David Harpster sports writer
    Posted Jul. 3, 2014 @ 7:29 am

    When Jeff Couto heard Perry High School was seeking a new girls basketball coach this spring, he was certainly intrigued.

    Couto, though, didn’t immediately apply because he felt the job wouldn’t be a fit for his schedule. A teacher at Louisville High School, Couto wasn’t sure he could make the commute in time for the Panthers’ after-school practices.

    One conversation in late May with Perry athletic director Scott Campbell changed all that.

    “I didn’t apply until they almost closed it out. I was at home one night and Scott Campbell called me and shared with me that the job was open. I had known that, but the issue I had was that, since I still teach at Louisville, I don’t get out of school until 3 o’clock. Perry gets out around 2, so I shared with Scott that it wasn’t a good fit logistically.

    “Scott then shared with me that the girls don’t practice until later in the evening, until 5 o’clock. When he shared that with me, it was like Christmas in May. If I felt that the schedule was going to work out, then I was definitely going to throw my hat into the ring and see what would become of it.”

    It didn’t take Campbell and other Perry administrators long to get back to Couto, as he accepted an offer to become the Panthers’ next coach in early June.

    He officially was approved at the Perry Local Board of Education meeting June 24.

    Couto spent most of the last month getting back into the swing of things as a head basketball coach. While his last coaching stint was an assistant for the Malone University women’s team during the 2010-11 season, Couto led Louisville to a 127-74 record from 1999 through 2008.

    It was during that one season at Malone when Couto realized he missed leading a team of his own.

    “That seed was planted, and having been out of it for a couple years and talking with my wife, Victoria, the bottom line is, I felt I’d rather wear out than rust out,” Couto said. “It was time to get back in the gym and do something that, in many ways, I’ve been blessed to do.

    “The fire started to burn a little more within me to coach again during that time at Malone.”

    While Couto was thrilled to be back on a high school court, being hired at the start of June — which is normally the busiest of all the offseason months for prep basketball players — isn’t always a best-case scenario.

Couto, though, was able to hit the ground running by being as proactive as possible when it came to communicating with assistants Beth Sternberg and Bob Pireu.

“I needed to know that Beth and Bob were going to be on board and be there, because coming into a new school district I needed people who had their fingers on the pulse of the community and the program,” Couto said. “Bob and Beth had everything, I mean everything, set up for the summer for us.

“One of the concerns about being such a late hire was making sure that the summer activities were all lined up and we weren’t going to be scrambling. That was so reassuring to find out that everything was in good shape.”

Couto was able to see the Panthers in a variety of settings during a very busy month of June. In addition to playing in summer leagues at GlenOak and Jackson, the Panthers traveled to shootouts at Mount Union and Ashland, where they compiled a combined 9-0 record.

While Couto’s first exposure to the Panthers as a coach came last month, he saw them play Louisville last winter. The game left a positive impression on the veteran coach, something Couto wasn’t afraid to share with the young Panthers when they embarked on their offseason work.

“One of the first things I noticed when I saw that (Louisville) game was that Perry girls are not allergic to hard work. They were willing to get after it, they were tough and hard-nosed and knowledgeable of the game,” Couto said. “When we first met this summer, I wanted to let them know that I recognized that. I recognized their hunger and passion and desire. Whatever they decided this next season was going to be, that it was within their grasp.

“Just by sharing that, the chemistry has been phenomenal ever since among the players, the staff and everyone else. Everything we’ve talked about — about being able to compete and scrap and just show up and get after it — they’ve embraced all of that.”

Reach David at 330-775-1129 or

Perry To Hire Couto as Girls Hoops Coach

Perry to hire Couto as girls hoops coach
Jun 02, 2014 7:16 PM

As a member of the hiring committee charged with finding a new girls basketball coach, Perry High School athletic director Scott Campbell knew the timing of the search wasn’t ideal.
Perry elected not to retain coach Dave Waseity last month, instead deciding to seek a new coach with the start of the summer basketball season rapidly approaching.

Even while dealing with those constraints, the Perry administration feels it has secured one of the best available individuals in former Louisville girls coach Jeff Couto.

Perry superintendent Marty Bowe said Couto accepted the position after it was offered to him on Monday morning. Bowe will recommend Couto for approval to the Perry Local Schools Board of Education later this month. The board’s next scheduled meeting is 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Edison Middle School.

“We are indeed thrilled to have Jeff accept the position,” Bowe said. “Not only does his coaching record speak for itself, but he’s a man of impeccable character. You can tell from the moment you meet him that he’s all about doing the right things and he’s all about kids. That’s just exactly what we want.

“We’re thrilled to have him on board and we’re looking forward to him growing our kids.”
While the Perry search committee had a strong field of candidates, Campbell said Couto separated himself early in the process.

“Jeff came in and absolutely, was 100 percent what we were looking for,” Campbell said. “We had some really good external candidates and a really good internal candidate. With Jeff, though, you see it and you feel it when you meet him.

“We did our homework. We did not go into this blind. We asked and his name came up all the time. People told us that if this was who we were going after, then we’d be very lucky to get him.”
Couto was head coach at Louisville from 1999-2008, where he led the Leopards to a 127-74 record. He guided Louisville to Northeastern Buckeye Conference championships his final three seasons on the bench. He captured four consecutive Ohio District IV Coach of the Year honors from 2005-2008.

Couto served as an assistant basketball coach for the Malone University women’s team in 2010-11.

Perhaps just as impressive as Couto’s accomplishments on the court, he received the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity award for the 2003-04 season.
Campbell said those are just some of the qualities Couto will bring to a youngPerry team that finished 14-11 last season.

“We’re getting him at the right time in his career,” Campbell said. “He’s kid-first and he teaches kids by motivation. When you call and ask people about Jeff, one of the biggest things that comes up is he’s one of the best teachers Louisville has. When I took over this job, the one thing I knew we would do is we would hire great teachers.

“Coaching and teaching go hand-in-hand and we’re very confident we’re getting one heck of a teacher and one heck of a coach.”

Reach David at 330-775-1129 or On Twitter: @dharpsterINDE

Youth Camp Dates/Location Announced

The Perry Girls Youth Basketball Camp dates and locations have been announced.  The camp will take place at the Edison Middle School Gymnasium from June 2nd through June 5th.  Girls entering grades 3-5 will participate from 9:00am-11:30am.  Girls entering grades 6-8 will partcipate from 12:30pm-3:00pm.

Be sure to check out the flyer below for camp registration and more information.

Perry Girls Youth Basketball Camp Flyer

Successful Night At The Races

Thank you to all who came out to support our Ladies and Booster club at our first Night at The Races. The evening was filled with fun, music and racing. A special thanks to the following people for the hard work to help our event: Becky Morosko, Carolyn Rushak, Bob and Marty Pireu, Jen Rohr, Julie Smith, Jason Cobb and Bill and Joan Hall.