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From Athlete to Coach; Making Paso a Better Place


Juanetta Perkins takes on many roles as a PRHS community member and wishes to make an impact with each one

It’s the lasting impact that drives Netta Perkins to keep going, keep coaching. It’s the ability to see the basketball athlete or track star years later still call her ‘coach’. Yet, her role as a track and basketball coach is just one of the many that Netta Perkins, born and raised in Paso Robles, has taken. Through her constant involvement in this community, Perkins is a Bearcat graduate of 89’, an athlete, coach, vice president of Paso Cares, a member of Paso People’s Action, a volunteer, mom, leader, activist, and giver. 

Once an athlete, now she is the assistant coach for varsity girls’ basketball and the head coach for triple and long jump in track and field. Through this position, she seeks to be the role model that her coaches were for her.

I was influenced by some great coaches in High School. I mean, I was this poor, lived in Oak Park, kid that didn’t have a lot but I excelled in sports and I guess I showed him [my coach] that it was worth him putting time into me. I saw that [relationship] and wanted to be what he was to me and to other kids. So I always wanted to be a coach. I wanted to mold young people into being good citizens.


Perkins went to Georgia Brown Elementary, Flamson Middle School, and PRHS. Though she started playing when she was 5,  it was in sixth grade that she began calling herself a competitor as her basketball career began.  At the high school she competed in volleyball, basketball, and track and field, winning CIF for volleyball in 1988 and CIF for track and field in 1987, 88, and 89. Perkins solidified her place in Paso’s history books when she was selected as Athlete of the Yyear in 1989, and she was later inducted into PRHS’s “Hall of Fame” in 2015.

Akasha Asberry, a junior at PRHS, has known Netta Perkins since she was two years old and competes under Perkins as a basketball player and jumper in track and field. 

She could be like a hard coach because she knows what you can do, even if you don’t. She always wants  to push you to that next level. You know what her expectations are for you.

Asberry said. She has been able to witness, first hand, the passion that Perkins holds for coaching as a track and field and basketball player.
Akasha Asberry (#42) goes up for a layup (Picture taken by Ashley Paulsen)

Perkins has sought to improve the lives of youth in Paso Robles through coaching as well as through her involvement and leadership in the Paso Cares Foundation, Paso People’s Action, and Paso Robles Diversity Committee.

Perkins is the Vice President of Paso Cares and helped remodel the organization after taking it over from just feeding the homeless and providing shelter to actively reaching out to the people that don’t usually go to Echo shelters. 

“We want to be able to serve the community, those people in the community. We go to them, we don’t wait for them to come to us,” Perkins said.  “We want to help the families that don’t qualify for the help or they don’t trust the system. And definitely we want to build that trust with those people that they can start reaching out if they need help.”

Perkins serves the community through Paso Cares, advocates for equity through Paso People’s Action, speaks out for those whose voices go unheard, and advocates for representation in education through Paso’s Diversity Committee. Perkins stated that she seeks to make Paso Robles a better place for her daughter.

“At one point I didn’t know that my voice was important. Or that I even had one. But, PPA is there to be that voice for people who are scared or or don’t want to use their voice.” Perkins said, an active member of Paso People’s Action, a group entirely made up of women that either graduated from or were born in Paso.

“I have a child in this school district and in this community. And right now my goal in anything that I do is to make sure that I lead by example. I want that example to show that I have compassion, I do make mistakes, and I’m willing to learn.” 


Perkins helped organize the first celebration of Juneteenth, a federal holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US, and is an active contributor of PRHS’s Black Student Union. Currently, in accordance with the Diversity Committee, these two groups are working towards educating teachers– specifically a project on how to read To Kill A Mockingbird without the inclusion of inappropriate language. 

Her resume shows that Perkins has gained a reputation of giving.​​ To basketball, track and field, those in need, the schools… To Paso Robles.

“If you ask Coach Perkins if she can help put on like a fundraiser for you, she’s going to help you . She’s a big part of this community because she is always there to contribute,” Asberry said.

So next time you walk down the street and see Netta Perkins, there are many titles you could give her. But Giver is the first one that should come to mind.

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