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LYNDHURST: 5236 Mayfield Road  ,   OH 44124.
CLEVELAND: 2110 Murray Hill Road, OH 44106.


Joseph Perella Sr. grew up in the heart of Little Italy in Cleveland, Ohio. “Coach” Joe Perella has been

a big part of Greater Cleveland football for close to 40 years. Perella attended Cathedral Latin High School

(Class of ’58) where his passion for athletics shaped him into the man that he would become influencing

thousands of athletes in the Northeast Ohio area and beyond. He received his undergraduate degree at

John Carroll University (Class of ’63) and his graduate degree from Ashland University. Perella began his coaching

journey at Latin (1964-68) and transitioned to Division I institutions for five consecutive years. Perella was the

quarterbacks and receiver’s coach at Florida State University (1968-1969) and the offensive coordinator for the

University of Louisville (1969-1972) and the University of Cincinnati (1972-1973). Perella’s offensive strategies

led Louisville to two Missouri Valley Conference Championships, and his passing attack was 2nd in the nation at

Florida State. Perella returned home after college success to coach at his alma mater, Cathedral Latin from 1974

until the school’s closing in 1978. In 1980 he was named head coach and physical education teacher at Beachwood High School

and went 70-27-3 in his 10 year stint. He won two conference championships in three years as head coach at

University School (1990-1994), ending his high school coaching career. Perella returned as a familiar face to

John Carroll University as offensive coordinator (1994-2000) leading the Blue Streaks to a 49-11-2 record, 25 broken school

records and an NCAA playoff appearance in 1997. After leaving John Carroll, Perella became the offensive coordinator for

the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (2000-2001), leading the Bombers to second in the C.F.L in

scoring. Perella returned home for his final coaching appearance as head coach at Case Western Reserve from 2001-2003.

After his retirement as athletic director at Beachwood High School, Perella continued to volunteer his time by mentoring

young athletes to be successful on and off the field.  

The Perella family is overwhelmed with the amount of love and support from the community. The impact that Coach has

made on his former players, students and colleagues has already proven to have touched many lives as the following

quotations are from friends and loved ones: “I can remember sitting in his office as a young high schooler, not even

realizing how much wisdom was being thrown at me.” “A legend. Taught so many how to be a great football player,

but even a better man.” “Coach Perella was one of the best to ever do it” “Coach didn’t care what sport you played or

even if you didn’t play sports…he just liked to find out about you and he always had a great way to make you feel

good about yourself” “I am one of the thousands he made a significant impact on. Grateful to have known him.” 

Joseph Perella Sr. “Coach,” 80, passed away peacefully at home Sunday November 29th, 2020 with his loving wife, Kathy by his side.

It was only right that Coach Perella passed on football Sunday after a Browns win and listening to one of his favorite movies. 

Joseph told the best (and longest) stories, preferred a grilled cheese, French fries and a blue Powerade made by his favorite

snack bar employees, or a bite to eat at Tasty Pizza (literally every day) and was never too shy to mention that your face

was killing him with a huge smile. The soul of Joseph lives through each and every person that he has impacted, and the Perella

family believes that his legacy and love for the game will be carried on by each and every one of you.  

Joseph is survived by his loving children Joseph Perella Jr. (Michele), Johnny, Stepson Steven (Crystal) and grandchildren

Angela and Amanda Perella and Shane Dickens. Loving brother in-law of Bill Adkins (Lisa) and Debbie Buscigleo (Paul). Preceded

in death by his loving parents Angelo and Elizabeth Perella, who were loved by many. The family would like to thank Heather Hill,

especially Marylou, Jillc and Traci for their compassionate care and Bella Care Hospice for making Joseph’s transition home possible.

In leu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to Heather Hill Dementia Care

12340 Bass Lake Road Chardon, Ohio 44024.  

7 Replies to “JOSEPH A. PERELLA”

  1. James Columbro says:

    I read what’s above. I remember, I’m moved. There are those like him in my class of 70 and I told them so.

  2. James Columbro says:

    I read what’s above. I agree with all of it – I remember, I’m moved. There are those like him in my class of 70 and I told them so.

  3. Angelo Ross (Ricco) says:

    It is with my deepest sympathy to hear of Joe’s passing. I have known him for a greater part of my life and it has been my honor. He treated people with respect and fairness which are two attributes that I leaned by watching how he carried himself. A true gentleman. rest in peace my friend. God Bless You.

  4. Josephine Skur says:

    This was such a lovely and informative description of Joe’s life. He is a cousin of mine who still remembers his beautiful blond curls he had as a child and the happiness he brought into the lives of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We did not keep in close touch over the years because of growing family obligations and Joe’s jobs that had him traveling. Kathy was a wonderful wife who was a constant by his side which made them a great couple. It is so nice to see how Joe touched so many young lives who remember all the life lessons he gave them which will always be a part of who they are. He was truly “one of the good guys” who will be missed by all who knew him.

  5. Mariano Mike Corte says:

    My thoughts and prayers to Coach Perella’s family. I had the pleasure to share an office with him for two at John Carroll. I love his stories. They were some of the most entertaining tales I have ever heard. I learn a lot from over those two years.

  6. Frank & Donna Malatesta says:

    Many great memories of getting to know Joe at Mayfair! He was a wonderful guy, always a smile on his face & a friendly comment. Frank knew Joe from the neighborhood & Latin, great memories thee as well. He will be missed, but we know he is now at peace.

  7. Gregory Trivisonno says:

    What a great person Joe was my prayers go out to his wife Kathy and Joe jr

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