Started Tumbling at 10 years old coached by his brother Raymond “Bud “Perry. Bud was on the Hamilton High School, Hamilton,Ohio Tumbling and Trampoline Exhibition Team. Don at the request of the Coach James “Jim” Grimm of the Hamilton High School Exhibition Team became a mascot as a 6th grader. To perform with them at all of their performances around the Midwest area. He remained on the team through high school.
In junior high school set records in classes for pullups and standing broad jump. Ranked number one in physical education classes all three years. Won the Junior high School boxing championship in the 9th grade in his weight class and was runner up in the 7th grade. In the City of Hamilton Boxing Championship was runner up in his weight class.
In high school set Hamilton High School records in the obstacle course in which all boys in physical education required to participate including athletes and also won the Strength and Efficiency Test in his junior and senior year. Set a school record for pullups.
In swimming and diving was undefeated in all swimming strokes for six years and undefeated in diving for 7 years in the surrounding Hamilton and Fairfield area.
Graduated – THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 1951 to 1955
- Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education from Ohio State University and Master’s Degree in Education from Miami University IN Oxford, Ohio
- Certified Health and Physical Education, Biological Science and Drivers Education Teacher in State of Ohio
- First four year Letter Winner as an Ohio State Gymnast in any sport
- First Ohio State Athlete to be a Captain of an Ohio State University Team for 3 years in a row ’53,’54 & ’55
- Undefeated as a Tumbler in Big Ten Dual Meets 1955 and placed 2nd in the 1955 NCAA National Championships held at UCLA University
- 1st All American Gymnast at Ohio State
- 1st Four time All American Gymnast at Ohio State
- Qualified all 4 years to compete in the NCAA National Championship Meet
- Places in NCAA Championships as a 4 time All American (Tumbling placed 4th in ‘53, 6th in ‘54 and 2nd in ‘55)( Trampoline placed 4th in ‘54)
- Placed 4th place in Tumbling at the Pan American Olympic Team Trials in Chicago, Illinois
- Competed for victorious NCAA North Team in Sarasota, Florida
- Competed for the victorious NCAA National Team vs AAU ALL Stars in Chicago, Illinois
- 4th Tumbler in the US to accomplish a Double Back Sommersault on flat mats
Don Perry Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame
Big Ten Gymnastics Judge for 13 years
- Judged the Big Ten Gymnastic Championship Meet Held at Ohio State
- Was on The Ohio State Track Team for one year under Larry Snider (High jump, Broad Jump and Pole Vault). Set a Freshman High Jump Record for Physical Education Classes at 5 feet 11 ¾ inches
- Served as Treasurer of the Men’s Physical Education Association at The Ohio State University
- Past President of the Ohio High School Boys Gymnastics Coaches Association
- Past President, Vice President and Secretary of Treasure of the National High School Gymnastics Coaches Association.
Had the Distinction of having classes under Woody Hayes, Larry Snyder and Mike Peppe at Ohio State and “Bo” Schembeckler at Miami University.
STARTED TEACHING SCHOOL SEPTEMBER 1955 – started teaching career at Parkersburg High School Parkersburg, West Virginia. In his second year of teaching was honored as “Teacher of the year “
Coached High School Gymnastics for Boys & Girls for 28 years
In 1960, along with Bob Sarsfield organized the Ohio State Boys High School Gymnastics Coaches and Judges Association to restart boy’s gymnastics competition in Ohio. Last boy’s gymnastic competition was held in 1948.
Organized and held the first Boys Invitational Ohio State Gymnastic Championship Meet (approved by the Ohio High School Athletic Association) at Garfield High School in 1961 and held the second Boys Invitational at Kettering Fairmont West high School in 1962
Then in 1965 the Ohio High School Athletic Association held the First Official State Championship Meet at Larkins Fieldhouse Ohio State University. The last organized Ohio Boys State Championship State Meet before that time was held in 1948.
As a high school Gymnastic coach has coached numerous International, Invitational Team and Individual Champions many of them went on to college with Scholarships or walk-ons most went to Ohio State some to Penn State and Indiana University
His High School Gymnastic Teams won 13 of 15 High School Conference Gymnastic Championships at three different schools
Teams won numerous International and Invitational Team Championships and had numerous Individual National Champions
Coached the Boys Tennis Team at Fairmont West High School for six years. The first Doubles Team made it to the Ohio State Semi Team Finals
Was in Army ROTC for four years while at Ohio State.
- Served 8 years in the Army (active and reserves) as a First lieutenant Armor Officer
- Was the First Officer to score a Perfect Score of 500 points on the Physical Fitness Test while training in the Officer Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky
- Won the Battalion pole vault championship at Ft Knox
In the 1961 Water Skiing State Championship Meet placed 3rd place in Mixed Doubles competition
In 1962, organized his own Water Ski Club called the “Tri County Water Ski Club” They performed weekly exhibitions at Lake Como in Coney Island and Americana Amusement Parks in the Cincinnati area. In 1961 placed 3rd place in the mixed doubles competition in the Ohio State Water Skiing Championships
In 1962 had his picture in The National Water Skiier Magazine for doing the first 3 man pyramid on one set of water skis
Was the Kentucky State Director of Fitness Motivation Institute of America was later the Ohio State Director of Physical Fitness Institute of America. They were contracted to work with “Bud” Grant and the Minnesota Vikings Professional Football Team in their Summer Training Camp 1977-78 the year they played the Oakland Raiders in the Super bowl. They did a Summer training clinic for both teams in strength, flexibility and aerobics.
Coached the Diving Team at the Elks Country Club in Fairfield, Ohio for three years. The Diving Team was undefeated in those three years. They won the Butler County Conference Diving Championship all three years.
2000 to Present
Now 87 years old a High school teacher 19 years. 60 years coaching and still coaching as co-owner of Acrocheer Gymnastics and Cheerleading LLC in Anderson,Ohio.
Has been a USTA National Elite Team Coach since 2012. Coached over 800 State Champions over 300 National Champions in United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association (USTA) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championships.
Acrocheer is the only team in Ohio to ever win a USTA National Championship Top Team Banner and Trophy. Only the top three teams in the USTA National Championship Meet win a National Championship Banner and a National Championship Trophy. Acrocheer placed 9 times in the top three teams since 2012 to 2019 in the United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association (USTA) National Championship Meets. Generally there are 145 to 170 teams.Teams that did not have a competitor in every event could not compete for the team awards.(one full week of competitions)
In the USTA Trampoline Top Team competition Acrocheer Gymnastics placed 2nd 2012, 3rd 2014. 2nd 2016, 3rd 2017, 3rd 2018 and 3rd in 2019.
- In the USTA Double Mini Trampoline Top Team competition placed 2nd 2013, 2nd 2014 and 2nd 2018
- Numerous Acrocheer competitors made the “National All Star and Elite Teams” in USTA and AAU
- Numerous Acrocheer competitors Made the USTA “Ohio State Team”
- Numerous Acrocheer “All Americans” in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
- Acrocheer individual competitors have scored 26 Perfect Scores in Invitational, State and National Competitions
- Don was voted in United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association 2017 “ Ohio Coach of the Year”.
Acrocheer’s USTA Elite competitor 16 year old Delilah Folk during the 2019-2020 season was voted the “ Nissen Griswold Award” as the USTA’s “Top Athlete Of The Year”. She was also the “Top Athlete” In the Trampoline event and the “Top Athlete” in the Double Mini Trampoline event. This award is against men and women competitors overall. Delilah has been on the USTA National Elite Team since 2012. She made the National Elite team as a 12 year old. 2021 voted Ohio USTA “Athlete of the year”
Acrocheer Fliptwister Team in 2019 USTA National Championship Meet placed in the top 3 teams in Trampoline and Double Mini Trampoline also won the “Top team Banner Award” out of all teams. Each team made up a banner for the USTA National Championship Meet.
2021 Acrocheer Fliptwister Team were the USTA State Champions in Trampoline and the Double Mini Trampoline. They competed in 8 individual events were 1st in 7 events and 2nd in 1 event. They also had 30 individual USTA State Champions.
Don’s wife Helen Perry was named Ohio USTA 2021 “Coach of the Year”