June 26, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Former University of Michigan Athletic Department employee and student-athlete Will Perry passed away Tuesday (June 25) unexpectedly at Muskegon Hospital. Perry turned 80 years old in May.
Perry retired in July 1994 after 26 years of service to the Michigan Athletic Department. He was the long-time sports information director (1968-80) and was promoted to assistant athletic director for his final 14 years at Michigan (1980-94).
He joined the Michigan staff in 1968 as sports information director and coordinated all promotions and marketing. In 1980, he was promoted to assistant athletic director under Don Canham and supervised several departments in his last 14 years. He became more involved in the marketing and promotions. Among his numerous duties, Perry was in charge of developing the Michigan's sports museum at Schembechler Hall and supervised the department's licensing program from its inception. He was instrumental in the development of the University of Michigan trademarks. Not only was he Canham's first hire after taking the athletic director position in 1968, Perry was always considered Canham's `right hand man.'
A 1955 graduate of the University of Michigan with a journalism degree, Perry played his freshman year on the basketball team and was a reserve outfielder on the baseball team for three seasons (1953-55).
Perry served two years as information specialist with the U.S. Army and later worked as sports editor and political writer at the Daily Republican (Belvidere, Ill.) and the Morris Herald (Morris, Ill.). He was the former assistant sports editor of the Grand Rapids Press from 1960-68 before Canham hired him in 1968. Perry authored the book, "The Wolverines, a Story of Michigan Football" in 1974.
Perry was born May 11, 1933, in Morris, Ill. Perry's wife, Pat, worked for the U-M Athletic Department for 21 years.
The Memorial Service will take place Saturday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Vanzantwick-Bartels Funeral Home, 620 Washington Street, Grand Haven, Mich.
Following is an article Will Perry wrote in 2009 about the old Michigan Stadium press box: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/100109aac.html
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423