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July 13th reception to honor Swindall's induction into Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame

Perry Swindall's high school football coaching legacy extends well beyond the playing fields his teams so often excelled on.

Many of Swindall's former players, at Russellville High School where he served as varsity football coach for nine years and his many other coaching stops, talk about Swindall's impact on them long after their football careers ended.

Several of his former players have organized a reception to honor Swindall on his recent induction into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Swindall was one of 12 inductees in the Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

The reception will take place Saturday, July 13th, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence. Tickets are $25 and limited seating is available. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. A cash bar will be available.

You can RSVP by emailing the number of tickets needed and your name to hofevent556@gmail.com. You will receive a response with a link to complete to register and pay for tickets.

2003 RHS graduate John Tyler Keelon and 2004 RHS graduate Matt Stockton are two of Swindall's former players who are helping plan the reception in his honor.

The event will feature several of Swindall's former athletes sharing memories of their head coach and there will be video tributes by former players and coaches on Swindall's teams. Most importantly, though, it will be a relaxed meet and greet and a chance for Swindall's former players to congratulate him in person.

Russellville Police Department Captain Jake Tompkins was an All-State quarterback for the Golden Tigers under Swindall. Tompkins, a 2003 RHS graduate, describes Swindall as one of his best friends, 21 years after Tompkins played for him.

When I played under him, he always told me about character,” Tompkins said. “Having good, strong character, something he stressed every day, helps me in my career even today. We still talk a lot.

He always said you can play good on the field, but you won't always have the field. You need to go be a man out in the world. That's what he really preached to us. I'm always striving to be better, hoping to be chief one day here and I'll always remember his words,” Tompkins added.

Keelon, a senior living facility developer who lives in Nashville, attributes much of his character and professional success to his former coach.

Because of coaches like Perry Swindall and (former RHS coach) Phil Phillips, they really helped me straighten up,” Keelon said. “I've seen him turn kids' lives around. He impacted all of us who played for him. Some of us were blessed with good parents, but some were not and he kind of filled that father figure for players with that void in their lives.”

In his nine years at Russellville, Swindall's teams averaged 11 wins per season. Russellville had a 42-game region winning streak and three 5A state runner-up finishes from 2002-2004. The Golden Tigers went 99-21 during Swindall's tenure.

When Swindall was told his former players wanted to organize a reception to celebrate his Hall of Fame induction, he was appreciative and a bit humbled. And he's looking forward to reconnecting with many of the young men he coached over his 40-year career.

I'm super excited and honored that some former players want to do a football reunion,” Swindall said. “We all have such great memories of our time together as Golden Tigers. It will certainly be great to get to visit with and connect with coaches and players who all shared so much during my time at Russellville.”

For Russellville City Councilman Darren Woodruff, Swindall's impact on the Golden Tiger football program survived well after his nine years on the sideline.

What a legacy Coach Swindall left in Russellville. He set the bar sky high for any coach following in his footsteps at RHS,” Woodruff said. “His legacy and impact ran years after he left Russellville with the success of the teams long after Coach Swindall had moved on.”

 

 

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