The State Fair Community College Athletic Department mourns the death of longtime friend and "Voice of the Roadrunners" Denny Perkins. Perkins served as the play-by-play voice of SFCC Athletics for more than 25 years. Perkins died unexpectedly at the age of 55 on Jan. 24 after a long battle with significant health issues. He was honored by the SFCC Athletic Department with a moment of silence before the Roadrunners victory over the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies that evening.
"He did everything for our programs," said Athletic Director Darren Pannier. "He went to all the away games even though he had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to be back on the air by 5. There were nights that we would get back at 3 a.m., and Denny would just go back to work. That meant a lot to us because we were trying to build our program inside the community and the state. He was a big part of that … he had the unique ability to make you feel like you were inside the arena even though you might be listening to the game in your car or living room."
During his distinguished career, Perkins broadcasted more than 1,080 games with his trademark passion for the game of basketball and love for SFCC Athletics. Perkins was responsible for bringing the action to SFCC fans near and far. He made the games come alive for his listeners. His signature call of "SPLASH!" every time a Lady Roadrunner or Roadrunner would knock down a three-point shot will be imprinted on the hearts and minds of SFCC fans who had the pleasure of listening to him.
Perkins and longtime broadcast partner Alan McCurdy worked together for about 20 years broadcasting SFCC basketball in addition to high school sports throughout the area. McCurdy will always remember the road trips that he took with Perkins while broadcasting Roadrunners games. He also pointed out the tremendous amount of basketball knowledge that Perkins brought to the broadcast.
"Denny should have been a basketball coach," said McCurdy. "I learned a lot just from sitting next to him. He would be calling the game and telling the listeners what strategies were going to be used in the game or should have been used in the game. He was not only the "Voice of the Roadrunners" but also deep down he was a coach. He was also a guy who could call a basketball game while eating a bag of popcorn and chewing on a straw. We had a very long relationship and total respect for each other. He will be sorely missed. He was one-of-a-kind."
Perkins was an active member of the SFCC Roadrunner Booster Club for many years. He also hosted the Coaches' Show where he interviewed the basketball head coaches, giving fans an inside look at the men and women's basketball programs at SFCC.
"I always knew that Denny would be prepared for the game," said Lady Roadrunners Basketball Head Coach Kevin Bucher. "He truly loved Roadrunner basketball whether it was women's or men's. He was able to give back to the programs by entertaining the fans who might not be able to make it to the games … he will be missed, and I miss him dearly."
Perkins served as a radio disc jockey in the Sedalia area for many years. He was involved in many community projects including the Community Santa Campaign where he helped raise money for local children who might not otherwise have gifts to open on Christmas morning.
"I wish his wife Jeri and daughters Sara and Abby all the best," said McCurdy. "They have many friends who thought a lot of Denny. I know that they are aware of that and will cherish all of their memories."