Indian Creek’s Perry goes from boys basketball coach to athletics director

Derek Perry knew he didn’t want to work anywhere else but Indian Creek.

Born and raised in the area, Perry graduated from Indian Creek High School. His wife, Andrea, also graduated from Indian Creek and is now the principal at Indian Creek Intermediate School. He wasn’t going to leave his post as the Braves’ boys basketball coach for a job anywhere else — but when a bigger opportunity presented itself in house, he couldn’t pass it up.

Perry was officially approved as the new Indian Creek athletics director Tuesday night. He replaces Justin Ray, who left last month to take a new job at Whiteland.

“I just thought it was too good of an opportunity for my family and myself long term,” Perry said.

As he assumes his new role, Perry will be reluctantly stepping away from his basketball coaching gig. He knew that balancing both would likely be too difficult over the long haul, but he had initially hoped to stay on for another season or two.

After getting a taste of what he’s in for at his new job — which also makes him the athletics director at the middle school — he understands why he’d been advised against attempting double duty.

“After going in and working (Thursday), whoo — I can kind of see why,” Perry said.

Butch Zike, formerly the athletics director at Whiteland, had been filling in at Indian Creek on an interim basis following Ray’s departure, and he will stay on through this month to help Perry get acclimated.

“That’s going to be great,” Perry said. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without him (on Thursday).”

Perry had posted a 91-65 overall record in seven seasons as the boys basketball coach, going 47-23 over his final three years with the Braves.

Now, he’ll be tasked with hiring his own replacement — as well as finding a new girls basketball coach after Dan Burkman stepped down from that position earlier this week.

A crazy start to his tenure, for sure — but Perry is up for the challenge. And he’s still right at home.

“We thought it was going to be a good fit and we’d give it a try,” he said, “and here we are.”

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.