When Tim Perrigot left his interview with Wendell School District officials and board members last Saturday, he said Wendell was the “right place” for him.
That’s the main reason, he said, why he decided to leave his roles as principal at West Minico Middle School and head varsity football coach at Minico High School to become superintendent of the Wendell School District, effective in July.
“After I walked out of that interview, I knew it was going to be good for me,” Perrigot told the Times-News on Friday. “I felt it was a great fit. It’s a very similar school district to the one I’ve been working in.”
Perrigot said that becoming a superintendent was the “ultimate goal” after earning his doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Idaho in 2012. Though he weighed his options over the past few months, he knew that vacancies don’t come up often for the position.
“You have to take those opportunities when they become available to you,” Perrigot said.
Perrigot has served as principal of West Minico since 2010. Before that, he was vice principal of Minico High School for 10 years and served as the athletic director.
Come July, Perrigot will be making a two-plus-hour round trip from his home outside of Rupert to Wendell. He said his focus will be learning about Wendell and the school district — its history, its needs and more.
He added that any role with the Wendell High School football team is out of the question for now.
“I don’t think that would be fair,” he said. “I need to focus on being the best superintendent that Wendell could have.”
Taking the superintendent position meant leaving his post as head coach of the Minico football team, a position he has held for 22 years.
The news of the hiring was announced quicker than he expected, but that he got to notify his athletic director, Ty Shippen, his coaching staff and one special Spartan: Martin Okelberry, Minico’s team manager of 17 years.
“’Spartan Martin was the toughest one to tell,” Perrigot said.
Okelberry has been by Perrigot’s side since his sophomore year at Minico.
Perrigot began his tenure as head coach in 1996, four years after he moved from Durango, Colo., to Rupert to teach at West Minico and serve as an assistant coach.
“I just feel really fortunate they gave a young guy the opportunity to coach,” he said. “I still remember my first football game like it was yesterday.”
Perrigot led Minico to its first state title appearance this past fall, and the Spartans won the Great Basin Conference championship nine times under him.
He said the relationships he built and the exciting times that he got to share with his team made his career as coach well worth it.
“I’ll have fond memories the rest of my life,” he said. “ There were so many fun games and times that I’ll never forget. It was a great experience.”