Meet Michael and Tyler Perry! The identical twins, that finish each others sentences, are Gainesville High and University of Georgia graduates. The duo have been football coaches at Gainesville, Coffee (Michael only), Centennial and now Michael has recently taken the head coaching position at East Hall High School. Tyler also will coach the Vikings next year as an assistant coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited to come back. We’re from here, and the opportunity to be back in Hall County, and to be closer to family…and to work with guys like Jeff Cooper who was the Captain of the 1990 National Champion UGA Baseball team, I’m super stoked,” Michael said.
We want to thank Michael and Tyler for spending time with us recently and telling us more about their life and love of Hall County.
Question: Do you think you’re going to change things with the Vikings program? Do you like the direction it’s been going? What is your philosophy?
Answer: (M) “This is what I feel good about, not to sound boastful or anything, but I’ve had success implementing my system at all my stops. When I was at Gainesville as Offensive Coordinator, we won the only football State Championship in GHS history. I go down to South Georgia, and we knock Jake Fromm, (UGA quarterback), out of the playoffs and help Coffee reach the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2008. Then my brother and I go to Centennial, which is Metro Atlanta, and we win there and do some things like winning a playoff game for the first time in 15 years. So, I know what a winning team looks like, and I know that’s what we’re going to bring to East Hall. It’s got all the potential in the world, but it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, but I’m up for the challenge. Definitely.”
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: (T) “I think we had great coaches when we were in high school, starting with Coach Steve Wilson, a Gainesville High graduate, coached at Furman, was a Defensive coordinator there two different times and won a National Championship there. But even more, as great as he was as a football coach, he just really influenced us in how to be a man in the right way. He’s hilarious, we just think the world of him. But definitely our coaches Steve Wilson, Frank Gordy, Paul Gilbert, and Jeff Kaiser (current Statesboro Head Coach), all had significant impacts on our lives. I know because of those guys, I wanted to be a coach. They each have left lasting impressions on me that I will never forget, and I am forever blessed that they were my high school coaches.”
(M) “It’s definitely a tough job, especially in today’s society. Parents can not always be the easiest to deal with if their son’s not playing, every coach knows that, but the lessons you learn- football’s the toughest sport there is. I love all sports, but there’s a reason not every kid in the school is coming out for football. It demands so much, and it seems less and less kids are coming out now because there is so much more to do. I can’t even describe it, the feeling on Friday nights, out on that field. It’s unbelievable, but like I said earlier, it’s all about the relationships you build with the kids. That’s why I coach.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: (T) “Hall County has so many, but we like Rabbittown Cafe, Senior Fiesta.”
(M) “I mean you got to go with Poor Richard’s. The prime rib.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Hall County and why?
A: (T) “Sam Wallace and Joab Rico. Two things they have in common, they are super kind to everyone they meet, and they can talk to anybody, they don’t care who you are or your status. They’re going to be themselves and give you the shirt off their back. They can make you laugh like nobody else, and I’ve known those guys a long time and sometimes when I’m teaching in Roswell I’ll start laughing, the kids will ask, ‘What are you laughing about?’ and I’ll just have some memory from Sam or Joab.”
(M) Joab Rico is just like Kramer from Seinfeld. Exactly like Kramer from Seinfeld, you never know what he’s going to do or say. He’s an awesome human being who truly lives out his Faith. Like Tyler said, Sam Wallace is a trip, too. I mean there is nobody funnier in the world than Sam Wallace.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
(M) “I’m really excited actually. I’m going to Scotland and Ireland for spring break this year and it’s two countries I’ve always wanted to visit. Definitely excited to see the Highlands in Scotland, I’ve heard the food is not that great, but I’m not going for the food. I’m going with my wife and some of her family.”
(T) “For me, my wife Rocky is originally from Colombia, and I’ve been all over that place, except for one spot, it’s probably the most popular spot, Cartagena. So I’ve got to get my wife to take me there.”
Q: What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
(M) “I think it was ‘101 Dalmations,’ and that was our first movie ever. It’s embarrassing to say, but we cried when Cruella DeVille came out.”
(T) “The first ‘Ghostbusters,’ I remember going to that, too.”
Q: What is the relationship between you, as identical twins, like?
(T) “We’ve always been best friends, for as long as we can remember. It’s always been fun. People always ask you the same questions, over and over and over, being a twin. For example, they always ask, ‘Did you ever play jokes on your teachers and switch classes?’ We get that all the time, but we only did that one time and it was in eighth grade. Our friends knew about it the whole time, but our teachers didn’t know.”
(M) “And people always ask us things like, ‘If you get hit could your brother feel it?’ And I say ‘Oh yeah, watch this.’
(T) But the maddest I ever got at Michael, was when I had a crush on this girl in middle school, and I had already told him I was going to ask her out in the next couple days. I’ll never forget, the next day outside at recess on the basketball court, Michael asked her out, and she said yes. I was so mad. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. That was not cool.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
(M) “Be yourself. I think with social media everyone is trying to impress everyone else, but just be who you are”
(T) “Stay true to yourself.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
(T) “It would be cool to see all the SEC stadiums. Go to a game in every SEC stadium. We’ve been to probably half of them. We’re big SEC football guys. Go Dawgs!”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
(M) “I think the people. When I think of Hall County, Wayne Vickery is one of the first people I think about, going back to your earlier question. Even though everybody knows him. He’s loyal as can be. I know he’s done a lot to help Tyler and me. He will definitely make you laugh at the same time. I’ll tell you this from a football standpoint and being in different counties, south Georgia obviously takes it very seriously, but it’s very good to come back to a place that really values athletics. There are some places that really don’t, but I know that Hall County definitely does.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
(T) “Still winning games at East Hall.”
(M) “Hopefully, at East Hall. This is where I want to be, Hall County. East Hall, I’m going to be here as long as they let me be here.”
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
(M) “That besides football, I really like soccer. I’m a big Atlanta United fan, so I go to a lot of their games. I did get to go to the championship. It was packed out, seventy-something-thousand people.”
(T) “Our very best friends are identical twins as well, Jake and Josh Brice. We will go to restaurants together, and everyone will do double takes. We were in the Twin Club together back in the day at Northeast Georgia Hospital. I don’t remember that, but that’s what my mom says.”
Q: What three words mean “Home” to you?
A: (T) Hall County.
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.