DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - By day, a local surgeon is helping save lives at Miami Valley Hospital and by night he's helping change lives at a local high school. That's why he's Someone You Should Know.
On a cold and windy night at Welcome Stadium, Thurgood Marshall is taking on Dunbar in football. Assistant Coach Travis Perry is trying to rally his defense to make a stop. His presence on the sideline here, a constant over the last several years at Thurgood Marshall, despite a pretty busy day job.
"I don't think they notice," Perry said. "I'm there, I'm Coach Perry."
Coach Perry is also Doctor Perry. He's a burn surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital, the only level one trauma center in the region.
"It's a team-oriented discipline," said Perry. "Where a group of people all come together to try to take care of sometimes horrific wounds. Devastating wounds. It takes a team effort to get patients with those types of injuries back to a functional state in society."
A surgical schedule takes up a lot of time, but Perry doesn't let that stop his other passion; coaching football. He started coaching his son through little league football in the area. He then followed some of the kids from the little league team to Thurgood Marshall in 2011. He's been coaching there ever since.
"It's an excellent vehicle for me to teach life skill lessons to young men that come through the program," Perry said.
Perry says those lessons can be humbling. Sometimes the kids are dealing with heartbreaking adversity.
"I'll say, well son why didn't you get your work done?" Perry said. "Well, coach the lights weren't on. Or coach, my mom and I have been living out of the homeless shelter for the past week."
Perry says he will help with meals and equipment for kids who need it. He also helps pay for kids to get tutoring for the ACT. Thurgood Marshall Head Coach Brian Carter explained the impact.
"That's the biggest difference he's making to me," Carter said. "He's really changing lives. These guys will look back as adults and see that man, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go to college if it wasn't for coach Perry. I think Coach Perry is definitely someone you should know. And get to know and your kids should get to know."
"If you have a chance to make a small impact in someone's life, to me, it's a big deal," Perry said.