Perales to be named head football coach at Naaman Forest, leaves Del Valle after 17 years

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It is the end of an era at Del Valle High School. KTSM 9 Sports has confirmed longtime head football coach and athletic coordinator, Jesse Perales, is expected to be named head football coach at Garland Naaman Forest High School, pending board approval on Tuesday. The move was first reported by Prep1USA.

Perales, a graduate from Bel Air High School, began coaching at Del Valle in 2001 as the team’s defensive coordinator. He took over as head coach in 2003. Perales compiled a record of 125-50 with seven district titles, 10 bi-district championships, and one area championship.

“Ever since I got into coaching, I have always dreamed about coaching in the metroplex area,” said Perales. “A couple weeks ago, this job opened up and I know some people out there. I have friends and family out there and just felt like it was the right time.”

Perales interviewed for the position last weekend and was informed he had gotten the job shortly thereafter. He informed his team at Del Valle early Monday morning that he has accepted the position.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in this profession,” said Perales. “This morning was tough because I genuinely love every kid and coach in there. I’m not false about that. I care deeply about them and I owed it to them to give them everything I had. I did that every day.”

Perales had been flirting with the idea of coaching in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for several years now, but never applied. Following last year’s 8-3 season, he felt like his time was now with his oldest son entering high school. Perales departs Del Valle with the Conquistadores football program being one of the powerhouse teams in the city, setup for years of success to come.

“Time waits for no man,” said Perales. “I didn’t want to look back when I am 70-years old and say I wish I would’ve, I wish I could’ve, or I should’ve.”

The team meeting lasted about an hour and Perales is set to arrive at Naaman Forest High School on Tuesday.

“We cried, we hugged each other and it was a very emotional time. That’s how it goes in this business,” said Perales. “I’m fortunate I was able to spend 17 years at Del Valle. Not many people can say they were somewhere for five years and I was there for 17 years, 15 as the head coach. I’ll cherish every moment. I really will.”

Perales plans to bring the same philosophy and principles with him to a Rangers football program that struggled last season, going 4-7 and losing in the Bi-District Round.

“I have to come in and enhance that culture,” said Perales. “I have to put a great staff together. There’s a lot of competition out there, but hopefully we can get things rolling in the right way, the right direction, and I feel confident in what I bring to the table.”

Naaman Forest competes in District 10-6A. Perales plans to meet with his new team as soon as the move becomes official.

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